19 Oct 2007

European Union commits $US 457 million in aid for 13 Pacific nations

11:11 am on 19 October 2007

The European Union has committed more than 450 million US dollars in bilateral aid for thirteen Pacific countries - all the regional members of the ACP, bar Fiji, which has had its aid support suspended since soon after the coup.

The country aid arrangements were signed with the EU's High Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, during the Post Forum Dialogue in Tonga, and cover the period from 2008 to 2013.

Mr Michel says much of the money will go towards the development of renewable energy which fits with the intentions of the regional co-operation agreement, the Pacific Plan.

"We want to be coherent and we want to build a site as partner on our friends of the Pacific - we think it is very important, important for the future - It is also a global challenge, climate change, energy and all this, and we can also deliver some expertise on the renewable energy."