10 Aug 2009

Nauru President welcomes end of Forum assistance scheme

12:42 pm on 10 August 2009

The President of Nauru, Marcus Stephen, says the decision by the Pacific Islands Forum leaders to end an assistance programme for his country is a very positive step.

At last week's summit, the Forum leaders announced that the Pacific Regional Assistance to Nauru, or PRAN, is no longer required because of the economic progress the island has made over the past five years.

Don Wiseman has more:

"PRAN was a regional response by the Forum countries, under the framework of the Biketawa Declaration, to the economic and social crisis Nauru had been facing. It provided financial and other help to restore Nauru's economic and social sustainability. Mr Stephen says the end of the scheme is an enormous vote of confidence in the reforms which have been put in place. He says when Nauru approached the Forum in 2004, the island was in a very desperate position as a result of financial mismanagement and poor decision making on the part of previous administrations. The leaders did say that Nauru still faces many economic, social, infrastructure and development challenges and that they continue to support the country's reform agenda."