Further Boost for Health Services in PNG

Media Release by Asian Development Bank (ADB) - 21 June 2019

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Feature Pic L-R: Treasurer Mr. Sam Basil; ADB Country Director for Papua New Guinea Mr. David Hill (seated, right); Counsellor, Public Policy and Health Security from the Australian High Commission Mr. Will Robinson (standing, right); and PNG Minister for Health Mr. Elias Kapavore (standing, left) at the signing.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) today signed a grant agreement, worth AUD38 million in additional financing provided by the Government of Australia, to expand the scope and reach of a program that is increasing people’s access to quality rural health services.

PNG’s Minister for Treasury Mr. Sam Basil and ADB Country Director for Papua New Guinea Mr. David Hill signed the agreement at a ceremony in Port Moresby. Counsellor, Public Policy and Health Security from the Australian High Commission, Mr. Will Robinson witnessed the signing.

“We are delighted that the Government of Australia has joined this partnership to help the PNG government deliver accessible, affordable, and high-quality health services to people, especially in the rural areas,” said Mr. Hill.

The ongoing Health Services Sector Development Program, approved in June 2018 and cofinanced by ADB and the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea, combines a policy-based operation and project financing to support critical health reforms and investments in PNG, enabling the long-term sustainability and effective use of the country’s health sector financing. Deficiencies in health sector governance, weak public financial management, and fragmented funds flows will also be addressed.

The program supports health service delivery by rehabilitating rural healthcare infrastructure, improving the availability of medical supplies, supporting new health partnerships, and using smart technologies to support digital information systems. The program also supports decentralized health service delivery by focusing on training staff at the sub-national level in public financial management and reporting to better plan and budget.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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