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UNDP: Small Niue takes big aid steps

PRESS RELEASE

United Nations Development Programme

World's tiniest island state takes big steps post cyclone

Niue Government and international community use storm aftermath to bolster aid coordination

28 April, Wellington, New Zealand - For the first time, aid agencies involved in the rebuilding of the world's smallest island country after Cyclone Heta's recent devastation, will meet in New Zealand to discuss improved methods of co-ordinating and managing their aid for Niue. The unprecedented donor meeting is an opportunity to examine cyclone diaster as a longer-term planning opportunity.

Niue Premier Young Vivian says "this is an historic moment for our country which is at a crossroads in our journey as a sovereign nation. January's devastating Cyclone Heta has made our journey more difficult but we know that with the assistance of our external partners we will rebuild and renew Niue." Cyclone Heta was the worst cyclone in living memory to hit the tiny South Pacific island.

Joyce Yu, UNDP Resident Representative for Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau says "our agency seeks to serve as a catalyst to bring together the donor community and UN agencies to support the aspirations of the people of Niue. We are pleased to play a leading role in taking this new step forward."

Niue will have an opportunity for the first time to report comprehensively and transparently to the international community on its use of disaster funds, and to indicate the needs for the next phase of recovery," says Ms Yu.

The Niue Donor Roundtable is convened jointly by the UNDP and the governments of Niue and New Zealand. It will meet In Wellington on 28 April. All UN agencies active in the Pacific region will be present, along with bilateral representation in New Zealand, and the European Union.

Ms Yu adds the objective of the Niue Donor Roundtable is to assist Niue to better manage its development and ultimately, with the input of donors and regional organisations, determine effective national planning, policies and actions.

The roundtable will see donors, such as NZAID, the New Zealand government's aid agency, detail their aid proposals and then co-ordinate with other donors to ensure aid money is used effectively.

"We are aware that a consensus on the long-term goals for Niue is essential to the effective use of emergency and recovery aid," Ms Yu says.

In addition, she says the effective co-ordination and management of overseas development assistance is essential to ensure public confidence in the use of public resources in the elimination of poverty and sustainable human development.

UNDP has been a development partner in Niue for more than 30 years. From 2000-2002 it donated NZ$1million for sustainable human development and environmental management projects in Niue.

ENDS

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