ADB Supports Transport, Infrastructure Improvements In PNG

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Bank to provide $637 million from 2016-19

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, April 1, 2015) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a four-year strategy to support Papua New Guinea’s drive to remove infrastructure bottlenecks, barriers to job and business creation.

The Country Partnership Strategy’s first Country Operations and Business Plan will make available K1.69 billion (US$637m) to PNG between 2016 and 2019.

"ADB will help the Government achieve its goals of inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth through investments in transport and energy, lowering the cost of trade, doing business and creating job opportunities," bank country director Marcelo Minc said.

"The country has experienced rapid economic growth since 2002, but that growth has not trickled down from urban centres to rural areas, where 88 per cent of the population lives.

"Agriculture has yet to fulfil its potential as a mechanism for reducing youth unemployment.

"It is due to transport and other infrastructure weaknesses that social indicators are lower than those of other countries with similar per capita income."

"The bank’s partnership will focus support on upgrading national transport networks, renewable energy development to expand access to power, help rural primary healthcare, urban water supply and sanitation, and access to credit through the Microfinance Expansion Project, co-financed by the Government of Australia."

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