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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) assisted Papua New Guinea with a substantial US$7.4 million (K25.4 million) to cater for development and other disaster relief assistance.

Prime Minister James Marape acknowledged the assistance yesterday when USAID Administrator Samantha Power held a Joint news conference in Port Moresby.

Prime Minister Marape asked USAID to ensure that this assistance aligns to the recently-launched Medium Term Development Plan IV (2023-2027).

The US$7.4 million funding will be allocated to the following areas:

1. Launching new humanitarian initiatives to bolster preparedness and address the ongoing volcanic activities (US$5.2 million). This allocation will encompass comprehensive community-based disaster risk management, augmenting the readiness of local and provincial governmental bodies to effectively manage disasters (US$3.5 million). It will also address the pressing challenge of severe and acute malnutrition within Papua New Guinea (US$1.2 million), and extend US$500,000 to support the emergency response to the recent eruption of Mt Bagana on Bougainville.

2. Pioneering the establishment of a solar mini-grid system in Central Province (US$1.2 million).

3. Enhancing Papua New Guinea’s oxygen and laboratory ecosystems, while concurrently bolstering the nation’s COVID-19 surveillance capabilities (US$1 million).

“Today marks yet another monumental chapter in the flourishing USA-PNG alliance, characterized by the resounding announcements made by Administrator Power, underscoring the inception of the USAID Country Representative Office within PNG and the substantial US$7.4 million (K25.4 million) in vital aid,” said Prime Minister Marape.

“On behalf of the entire populace of Papua New Guinea, I extend profound gratitude to US President Joe Biden and his esteemed Administration, via USAID, for this indispensable support.

“This development encapsulates the dynamic progression of the relationship between the United States and Papua New Guinea.

During the press conference, it was announced that USAID will establish a country representative office in Papua New Guinea. This will further strengthen the bilateral relationship between USA and PNG.

“We are here by opening a USAID Country Representative Office here in Papua New Guinea. This fulfills President Biden’s promise from last year, and again, is a reflection of this deepened commitment to Papua New Guinea and to the broader region” Administrator Power said.

“USAID does a lot of things around the world. We help communities respond to disasters, of which there are evermore. We help communities fight disease, strengthen democracy, reduce poverty, and spur economic growth. In turning what had been a regional satellite office here in Papua New Guinea into a full-fledged Country Office, we will have more resources, including funding and staff, to invest here in Papua New Guinea, as well as in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu” she said.

The USAID office will be headed by Nino Nadiradze, USAID Country Representative for Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.

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