PLANNING MINISTER SETS PRIORITIES FOR WORLD BANK FUNDING

PORT MORESBY, MONDAY 24th JUNE 2019 — The Minister for National Planning, Hon Richard Maru, has met with the World Bank and given them clear directions on our priorities for concessional funding in line with our Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP) III priorities last Friday.

This follows a visit to Minister Maru by the World Bank Country Director of the Pacific Islands and PNG, Michel Kerf, where they discussed the Country Partnership Framework.

The Minister gave the World Bank six critical areas for long term focus to concentrate funding support in; Major Road Infrastructure, Youth Employment and Skills Training, Budget Support, Agriculture Development, Health and District Town Water Supply.

1) For the Major Road Infrastructure, the Government of PNG would like the World Bank to:
i. Concentrate on the design and building of Phase 1 of the Momase International Highway between Watarais in Markham to Madang;

ii. Commence the feasibility study and work on funding for the Gulf to Southern Highlands Highway upgrade and sealing program. After our Government completes the unsealed road using funding from the Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme this year.

2) For Youth Employment and Skills Training, GoPNG wants WB to concentrate on upgrading and expending our current technical colleges and to assist us fund more technical colleges and polytechnic institutions.

3) World Bank to assist our Government with a long term concessional funding for direct Budget Support.

4) On Agriculture Development, concentrate on Phase II of the Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (PPAP). Minister Maru said the PNG Government is very happy with the positive impact of Phase I of the last 5 years and wants the Project to continue. In Phase II of the PAPP Projects, the Minister wants the focus to be on building high quality “commodity roads.” The Government wants a program to complete major commodity roads to provide access for coffee, cocoa and vanilla farmers and fresh food farmers to take their produce to market in the highlands and coastal provinces. An example will be the Kainantu to Obura Wanenara road and the Banz to Jimmy road.

5) In Health, concentrate on health infrastructure requirements and ensure that Provincial Health Authorities are well capacitated and can deliver frontline service delivery.

6) To focus on long term concessional funding for District Town Water Supply Projects. We have 89 District Headquarters in the country and want each District Towns to have a safe and functional water and sanitation system under a country-wide program.

The Minister thanked the World Bank for its continued support to Papua New Guinea and how it is working closely with the Government of PNG in ensuring that we deliver a strong portfolio to PNG in the key areas outlined.

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