29 Oct 2005

Nauru pleased at Taiwan confirmation of US$3.4m for repatriation of Tuvalu and Kiribati workers

7:14 am on 29 October 2005

Taiwan has confirmed it is to provide over 3.4 million US dollars for the repatriation of 300 I-Kiribati and Tuvaluan workers who have been stranded on Nauru for several years.

The expatriate workers, who with their families, number around 1,000, have been working in Nauru's phosphate industry.

They are owed a huge amount of money in wages and had refused to return, or been unable to return, without this money being paid.

There have been efforts, overseen by the Forum to try and sort some funding to help the workers.

Now the Taiwanese delegation, in Port Moresby to meet members of the Forum, following this week's leaders summit, has agreed to make the payment, in two stages, with the first one by January.

The money will be used to re-establish the I-Kiribati and Tuvaluans in their home countries.

President Ludwig Scotty of Nauru was delighted with the announcement.

"I'm very glad also that I may go back to my home, go round the Tuvaluan people and Kiribati, round my area, and I can tell them that things will be solved, and I believe that my two ministers will have the same thing to bring back to their country, and I'm very sure that they will get elected at the next election."