30 Jul 2002

US Congressman adds to condemnation of World Bank over remittances statements

5:38 pm on 30 July 2002

American Samoa's US Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin has called for the World Bank to apologize and for its staff to be disciplined in the growing row over remittances.

Two weeks ago a Bank official told a Pacific business conference in New Zealand that Pacific Islanders living overseas should not send money home to family members still in the islands.

Denise Aldous says it creates dependency.

But the statement was withdrawn following widespread criticism.

Faleomavaega says the statement illustrated the Bank's insensitivity to the plight of Pacific Islanders.

He says remittances are common in other regions and in May the Bank issued a press release saying it would focus its efforts on supporting remittances to Mexico from Mexicans living abroad.

Falemavaega says this contradiction is a glaring offence to Pacific Islanders.