2 Feb 2004

EU to release more aid to Solomons

2:19 pm on 2 February 2004

The European Union says it will release millions of dollars in assistance to Solomon Islands which had been withheld because of accountability concerns prompted by the ethnic tension in the late 1990's.

The E-U office in Honiara made the statement ahead of tomorrow's arrival in the country of the E-U Aid Commissioner, Paul Nielson.

It says this will mark the gradual release of 81 million US dollars for a range of projects and is seen as a sign of confidence in the government's policies.

The visit is a follow-up on the international donors' conference in Honiara last year.

Mr Nielson will be accompanied by the New Zealand aid minister, Marion Hobbs, who is expected to make an joint announcement with the EU.