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US join forces with PNG to address Climate Change and HIV AIDS issues

The U.S Ambassador to PNG Teddy Taylor and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has agreed to join forces to address issues surrounding climate change and HIV and AIDS.

In brief meeting with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, U.S Ambassador to PNG Teddy Taylor several projects were outlined to Mr. O’Neill, all worth 52.5 million U.S dollars.

In collaboration with the health department the U.S would like to introduce what they called a 2nd generation program to address HIV and AIDS. The model they are looking at is a treatment program that combines prevention, treatment and care. The prevalence study that will be carried out beforehand will focus on most at risk populations. These groups may include sex workers and men who have sex with men or MSM.

This project will cost 20 million US dollars and will run for 5 years.  

There are also two climate change program they would like to introduce. The first one is a Coastal Adaptation Climate project. It will be community based and run, with the U.S providing only science and technology necessities. One models are created, they will replicate in other selected areas. This project will cost 25 million US dollars.

The second climate change initiative is a Mangrove Forest rehabilitation program. This will be community based and run as well.

Mangroves are an important part of coastal marine life. With their ability to absorb and use more carbon than terrestrial forest, marine life is dependable heavily on mangroves. In turn, the community benefits immensely from having mangroves around them.

This 7.5 million kina project will help identify why mangroves are deteriorating and how they can help PNG communities revitalize the mangroves.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill acknowledge these community driven initiatives and gave the ambassador his word that the government will put all efforts in assisting and making sure the programs are sustainable.

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