by Delly Bagu – EMTV Port Moresby
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a five-year country partnership strategy with PNG.
This Country Partnership Strategy 2016 to 2020, will support the country’s drive to remove infrastructure bottlenecks, and barriers to job and business creation.
The Country Partnership Strategy’s first Country Operations and Business Plan makes available US$637 million. That’s well over K1 billion in resources to PNG.
Asian Development Bank PNG Country Director, Marcelo Minc, explained that within the 5-year Country Partnership Strategy, there is an operations business plan for the first 3 years.
The 2016 to 2018 assistance program combines ADB’s own finance with partnerships to accelerate ADB’s development effectiveness.
ADB’s partnership with PNG will focus on upgrading national transport networks for access to service delivery and to unlock the economic potential of rural workers. Support will also go to renewable energy development to expand access to power.
Recently, ADB and the PNG government made significant progress in upgrading the country’s major infrastructure assets. The construction of the Lae Port Tidal Basin, significantly boosts cargo handling capacity at PNG’s busiest port. Mr Minc said ADB will continue its support in phase two, but in a different way.
ADB also has a pilot plan, a border project in the North West corner of the PNG-Indonesian border.
ADB has current programs for rural health, micro finance and improving roads in the Highlands region. ADB’s other flagship activity, the Civil Aviation Development Investment Program, has improved safety and security and upgraded airport facilities in seven national airports, including Port Moresby’s Jackson airport.
Mr Minc said these improvements are done in an inclusive way, ensuring that the underprivileged population in the country, benefit from these improvements.
Papua New Guinea joined ADB in 1971, and is now ADB’s largest Pacific region borrower of loans for public and private sector development, while ADB is now PNG’s second-largest development partner.
ADB’s active portfolio in the country currently totals $1.1 billion, including 22 ongoing loans for 11 projects; 8 grants; 9 technical assistance projects, and 2 private sector loan and equity operations.