|July 26, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|WASHINGTON, D.C.—FALEOMAVAEGA DEMANDS APOLOGY FROM WORLD BANK|
| Congressman Faleomavaega
announced today that the statements made by World Bank officials in Auckland,
New Zealand wherein they urged Pacific Islanders not to remit funds home
were both offensive and unacceptable. Faleomavaega has demanded an
apology and disciplinary action to be taken against the World Bank officials
responsible for these statements.
“The statements made by World Bank officials in New Zealand illustrate their insensitivity to the plight of Pacific Islanders, especially in light of the fact that it is the World Bank’s Pacific regional strategy to provide assistance to the Pacific member countries by helping to provide sustainable and meaningful economic and social opportunities,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“Remittance is also not an occurrence exclusive to the Pacific Island regions,” the Congressman noted. “It is well known that the Phllippines and Latin American countries receive billions of US dollars each year as a result of remittance. In a May 16, 2002 World Bank press release, World Bank reiterated that it will focus its efforts in supporting remittance to Mexico from Mexican immigrants abroad. Such a contradiction in ideology is a glaring offense to Pacific Islanders.”
“World Bank’s statements are a blatant disregard to the challenges faced by Pacific Islanders and World Bank’s promise to support Pacific Islanders in their efforts to overcome both economic and social vulnerability,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “Pacific Islanders are a proud people, rich with culture and heritage who have been depicted by the World Bank as welfare recipients who rely on remittance from their family members for survival. Such an illustration of Pacific Islanders is untrue and negates their struggles to be self-sustaining and to compete in today’s market.”
“I demand an apology and disciplinary action to be taken against the World Bank. To ignore this request would only add insult to the insensitivity displayed by the World Bank,” Congressman Faleomavaega concluded.
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