25 Feb 2003

No official requests received from Nauru for help

4:04 pm on 25 February 2003

The Pacific Islands Forum and New Zealand say they've not received any official requests for help from Nauru despite reports that the country is in a desperate plight.

Nauru's president, Bernard Dowiyogo, has said the situation is critical and he's appealed to donor countries for help.

But New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says no formal approach has been received as yet and a decision will only be made when has been received.

The acting secretary-general for the Pacific Islands Forum, Iosefa Maiava, also says there's been no formal request from Nauru and while there's concern about the member country, no response can be made until there is.

Mr Maiava says the Forum will make enquiries about the situation but was unable to say when.

Nauru has been cut off from the rest of the world since early January after the collapse of its telephone system.