20 Aug 2008

New access to infrastructure funds for Pacific countries

8:35 pm on 20 August 2008

Pacific countries are to have new access to millions of dollars to improve infrastructure like transport, sanitation and waste management systems.

Australia, New Zealand, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank have announced the new scheme which was discussed at the Pacific Forum leaders' meeting in Niue this week.

According to an Australian government statement the new Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility will make the funds available by coordinating donor assistance.

It will provide funding of up to $173 million US dollars during the next four years with transport infrastructure expected to be an early priority for assistance.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark said if the scheme was consistent with her country's development assistance programme they may increase their first contribution of 700-thousand US dollars.