By Jack Lapauve Jr, EMTV – Port Moresby
The Australian Government today announced phase four of the Australian-PNG Incentive Fund Program.
Phase four of the program is the outcome of lessons learnt and reflections of phase two and three, of the program.
Australian High Commissioner to PNG, Deborah Stokes, said the new phase reflects the shift in aid policies with more emphasis on empowering women and girls.
Stokes said, the next six years will see K160 million available as grants to improve areas in education and health.
For the past 14 years, over K300 million has been put-out as incentive funds. Phase four will now target the empowerment of women and girls.
A special feature of phase four is the inclusion of proposals from the private sector. Stokes said it’s not about subsidising the private sector, but must be seen as socio-economic development.
The Australian High Commissioner to PNG applauded the work of churches in helping government’s delivery of services to rural communities.
She said the invitation for the public sector to send proposals for the funds must not put away the effort by churches. “Churches play a vital role and that has been the case”, said Stokes.
Formal documents were signed and exchanged at today at the Boroko Primary School in Port Moresby.