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UN agencies hear of aid concerns

Tevita Vuibau
Friday, April 25, 2014

ISSUES of fair and proportionate distribution of UN funding to Fiji and Pacific Island countries (PICs) has come to the fore during the UNDP/UNFPA and UNOPS executive board's visit to the country.

And countries in the Pacific are putting their hands up for a bigger slice of the UN pie.

But Fiji's permanent representative to the United Nations, Peter Thomson, says they are focused on fair distribution keeping in mind that PICs are some of the biggest aid receivers per capita.

"Yesterday (Wednesday), we had very good talks about the problems of delivering UN services fairly to all of Pacific Island countries," Mr Thomson said.

"It was pointed out yesterday (Wednesday) that some of the Pacific Island countries are the biggest per capita aid receivers in the world so that's why I emphasised the word fair because there has to be a fair distribution."

He also pointed out that Pacific Island countries had special problems, which had to be accounted for when talking about fair and proportionate distribution of funds.

"We also need to bring into the fairness equation the special problems of SIDS, especially with geographic isolation and also the difficulty of development SIDS."

He also said the location of UN offices in the region made it all the more important to get aid distribution correct.

"When you think that this office here in Suva covers everything from Palau right across to the Cook Islands, it's a vast area to cover.

"So how do you get the UN services out to all those countries in a fair way, considering that there's a cake that has to be divided among the 193 countries of the United Nations."