PNG Missing Out On Millions Of Overseas Aid: Chief Secretary

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Lack of follow-up, organization means missed opportunities

By Malum Nalu

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, March 1, 2016) – Papua New Guinea is missing out on millions in overseas aid because of the complacency of public servants, says Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari (pictured).

He told The National yesterday that there was so much money available from PNG’s development partners which was not being accessed.

"We’re signing many agreements, many MOUs, but we are not going out there to bring back tangible projects," Lupari said.

"We’re not following up to make sure that these monies are coming into the country, the support that has been pledged. There is a lot of support that has been pledged. Japan has pledged a lot of money, India is the same thing, Australia, New Zealand.

"There are people out there who are willing to give us money to support many of our programmes, but we are not doing that (following up).

"The public servants here are sitting back. They’re happy to go to overseas meetings, they’re happy to talk and sign up.

"But when they come back there’s no follow-up.

"There’s money out there that can easily complement Government funding, massive amounts of money, billions – environment funds, diplomacy funds.

"There’s US$1 billion (K3bn) pledged by China to the Pacific but I don’t think we’re getting one cent out of it.

"We all go to meetings, we all agree, but when we come back here we’re not able to coordinate ourselves. We need to put in a system that is consistently following up to make sure that we tap on those resources that are outside, to support us in funding for key projects.

"Money is out there, let’s organise ourselves, prepare bankable projects so that we can go out there and say, ‘we’ve got this project so come and fund us’.

"It all boils down to people here.

"National Planning has to be focused on that, central agencies have to focus on that, many of the key agency and departmental heads have to focus on that.

"There are many aid projects that we have funding available for - water supply, sewerage, roads, environment, community projects.

"Our people need service out there, and we’ve got all this money sitting out there with our development partners, bilateral organisations, and multilateral organisations."

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