5 Sep 2017

Withheld EU aid raises ire of Pacific group

5:12 pm on 5 September 2017

The Pacific nations which receive aid from the European Union have raised concerns at not being able to draw down some of the funds allocated to them.

european union flags

Photo: PHOTO NZ

The money is channelled through the European Development Fund but access has been an issue for several years.

The chair of the Pacific component of the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of nations, Tu'ilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, said about $US200 million dollars had been withheld.

The Samoan prime minister said the members are hoping there are no further cuts.

"With all the problems facing Europe there is pressure on their own budgets so we know where their proposition comes from and the area of reallocating the finances already approved for our regional projects."

Pacific leaders in the African, Caribbean and Pacific bloc (PACP) held a meeting before the Pacific Forum leaders' summit in Apia this week.

On Wednesday the PACP nations and the EU will talk about a replacement for the Cotonou Agreement - the document which governs their relationship, and which expires in 2020.

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