Fiji's interim government has approved a request by the United States to re-etablish its USAid office in Suva after an absence of 15 years.
The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation says the request came from the US Embassy and it was approved by the interim Foreign Affairs Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola. (pictured right)
FBC says the two USAID positions are that of a Mission Director and a Program Officer and they will be filled next month.
Kubuabola is quoted by FBC as saying the two will have the job of overseeing all USAID programmes in the Pacific, including working with bilateral projects and existing regional organizations and missions to fund Global Climate Change Programs and overseeing HIV/AIDS programs and disaster management programs.
He says the Ministry appreciates the re-establishment of the USAID Office in view of the benefits that will accrue to Fiji and the rest of the Pacific Island Countries.
Editor's Note: The return of the USAid programmes to Suva was tipped by Kurt Campbell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, at this month's Pacific Islands Forum. The head of the US Delegation (pictured left), stated at the 22nd Post Forum Dialogue that the US has "under-performed in the Pacific region and plans to change that dramatically." Campbell informed participants that a USAID office will re-open in Suva, Fiji, in 2010, and another USAID office will open in Port Moresby, PNG, in 2011. He also promised that as a result of the Guam Build-Up, there will be employment opportunities in Guam for citizens of PIF countries.