11 Jan 2006

Cooks aid money to double

2:15 pm on 11 January 2006

Overseas aid money to the Cook Islands has doubled for the 2005 to 2006 financial year.

In recent years aid money has averaged around 8 million US dollars but the Cooks will now receive a total of 16 million dollars from various aid donors.

The Finance Secretary Kevin Carr says with the extra 8 million dollars, Australia will fund a police patrol boat, China has offered to fund a new police station and New Zealand will further support recovery efforts from last year's cyclone.

"The bulk of this is going to be the rebuilding of government buildings and ports and where there is damage done and also ensuring some cyclone protection work as well."

Kevin Carr says other sectors that will benefit from the extra aid will be education, the outer islands and the development of human resources.

The European Union is another major aid donor to the Cook Islands.