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The shift in Australia’s aid programme requested by the Papua New Guinea Government is not something that has not been discussed before.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said this at the weekend in relation to the announcement by National Planning Minister Charles Abel that PNG wanted aid worth AUD$500 million (US$377 million) channelled to the budget system by 2020.
“Many development assistance programmes are running parallel to government’s priorities and therefore this is aimed at alignment so that we can deliver services better and use the funds from both governments to better use,” O’Neill said.
“We have too many middle men that is costing too much money and less is being delivered.
“We need to cut out the wastage.
“The new arrangement is proposed to come into effect in 2020,” he added.
Australia spends K241 million (US$75 million) on health sector which aids 700 health professionals consisting of midwives, nurses and community health workers trained between 2013 and 2016.
Rural primary health service delivery programme (delivered through the Asian Development Bank and co-financed by Australia) to upgrade 32 community health posts in Zone HQs (16 have been tendered and contracts will be awarded for construction shortly) and TB response in Western Province.
The education sector investment is K157 million (US$49 million), (K83.7 million (US$26.3 million) of the education budget and Australian Awards K73.5 million (US$21.1 million), of which they built 150 classrooms, 55 teacher’s houses and 57 ablution blocks completed to Government specifications in 2015-16.
Australia funded training for 40 elementary trainers equipping them to support new elementary teacher training requirements and Australia Awards were offered to 458 Papua New Guineans.
The law and justice sector investment is K201.9 million (US$63.5 million) including support through other government departments and in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
This included training support provided to 1881 police officers (364 policewomen) including eight women officers out of 12 officer promotions to the rank of Assistant Commissioner in 2015.
Also 2056 law and justice officials benefited from ongoing technical, legal and leadership training through Australian-funded courses for the law and justice sector.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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