7 Jan 2003

New Zealand increases aid to Fiji but not to pre-coup levels

6:24 pm on 7 January 2003

New Zealand isn't making any commitment to return to its pre-coup 2000 levels of aid for Fiji despite the increase for this year.

Ross Macfarlane, the Pacific regional co-ordinator of NZ Aid, says Fiji will go from receiving 1.6 million U.S. dollars to 2.1 million dollars this year.

This is still half a million dollars short of pre-coup levels of 2.66 million.

Mr Macfarlane says New Zealand is awaiting the outcome of a court case on the constitutionality of the Fiji government later this year before any further decisions are made.

"What we're looking at is a response appropiate to the needs of Fiji, in the broader context of our wider aid programs....there is no commitment at this stage, to go back to the level prior to the coup."

Mr Macfarlane says this year's increase in aid will go towards education and governance.