Subject: KY: Japan pledges $19 mil. for E. Timor nation building

Japan pledges $19 mil. for E. Timor nation building

TOKYO, Dec. 18 (Kyodo) - Japan decided Tuesday to provide $19,270,000 in emergency grant aid to the U.N. Development Program to help East Timor attain full independence and carry out its nation building smoothly, the Foreign Ministry said.

The money will help fund six projects, including $6.13 million for improving the irrigation system in the Manatuto region, $4.67 million for establishing an engineering department at East Timor University and nearly $3 million for repairing a container yard at Dili port.

About $2.4 million will be used for improving regional water facilities, $2.36 million for the second phase of improving the water facilities in Dili and $707,000 for a scholarship program, the ministry said.

Japan decided to provide the latest assistance as part of its pledge in December 1999 to contribute some $100 million over three years to help in the reconstruction and development of East Timor.

East Timor held its first legislative elections for a constituent assembly Aug. 30 exactly two years after its historic referendum on independence from Indonesia. It is set to become an independent state next spring.

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