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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

EU advocates direct budgetary support for Pacific nations

The European Union is advocating better fiscal management and accountability in Pacific countries to allow it to provide direct budgetary support to the region's governments. Financial reforms in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu dating back to 2010 have made them eligible for EU budgetary support whereas Fiji and Papua New Guinea remain ineligible. The EU Ambassador to Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, Leonidas Tezapsidis, said the case for more aid funding to be channelled through government budgets as opposed to project type funding is a strong one. Mr Tezapsidis said it reduces duplication, improves co-ordination and is more sustainable in the long-run. "We try to minimise the use of technical assistance to make short term assignments, to reduce the dependence of those countries on foreigners, on donors for their programmes. This is a kind of a risk," said Mr Tezapsidis.