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EU Relief Money To Fiji

  • February 7th, 2009
  • Posted by EUEditor

fiji-coup-small.jpgTrue to policy the European Union has committed funds to the international relief effort for Fiji, following the bad weather and disastrous floods there – while still witholding support from the country’s military regime.

The EU has begun the process of witholding development assistance to Fiji, including trade assistance to the sugar industry, in line with policy linking aid to governance standards.

The military leader, VJ (Frank) Bainimarama, has been told that EU development assistance cannot be continued unless he starts a return to democratic government, with scheduling of elections.

However that has always excluded humanitarian aid, and so F$2-million (A$0.803-million; dcerates.com, 7.2.09) has now been given.

Report from the European Commission, at Fiji:

European Union pledges over $2M Fiji dollars to support Flood Affected Schools

Suva, Fiji (26.1.09) – The European Union (EU) today gave over F$2 million in development assistance to the country in support of Fiji ‘s rehabilitation efforts following the recent floods.

The Head of the European Commission (EC) Delegation for the Pacific, Ambassador Wiepke van der Goot, this afternoon presented a cheque for $F2,036,500 to the Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Filipe Jitoko.

The development funding will assist 41 schools and over 15,000 primary and secondary school students in the country’s worst affected flood areas.

The funds will be channelled to schools via the EU-financed Fiji Education Sector Programme (FESP).

The Ministry of Education, following an extensive 10-day impact assessment of all schools in the flood affected areas, has identified 41 schools in need of immediate support.

These schools have suffered extensive damage to buildings, equipment, teaching and learning resources, textbooks and school crops. Funds will be used to rehabilitate the schools and to restore them into working order as soon as possible.

This financial support will be made available to the individual schools with immediate effect in order to ensure a smooth as possible start to the new school year.

Apart from supporting the school rehabilitation and start-up process, the funds will also be used to reduce the financial burden on pupils and their families with the FESP programme taking care of the payment of the student levy that normally is the responsibility of the parents.

Reference:

European Commission, Brussels, “European Union pledges over $2M Fiji dollars to support Flood Affected Schools”, Media Release, 26.1.09.


Picture: VJ Bainimarama

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