27 Jun 2003

UN regional rep says more than military help needed in Solomons

10:53 am on 27 June 2003

A leading United Nations official in the South Pacific says military intervention alone will not solve deep-seated problems that have brought Solomon Islands to the point of collapse.

But the Suva-based regional representative of the UN Development Programme, Peter Witham, says urgent help is also needed to tackle problems with resources, the economy and basic services.

"With the important exception of some very key emergency assistance, not least from Australia and New Zealand, really long-term development assistance has only been a small fraction of what it was some years ago. So we would certainly have to reverse that trend."

Peter Witham says substantially increased aid is needed.