The FINANCIAL — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding confirming the successful review of the 2014 ADB PNG portfolio.
Hakaua Harry, Acting Secretary of the Government of Papua New Guinea’s Department of National Planning and Monitoring, and Marcelo Minc, Country Director of ADB’s Papua New Guinea Resident Mission, participated in today’s signing ceremony which was held as part of a week-long mission to review the overall performance of the 2014 ADB PNG portfolio, raise implementation issues, and draft an action plan for 2015.
“ADB is an important development partner to PNG and we value our long-term partnership,” said Ms. Harry. “Through experiences and lessons learned over the years, we see a stronger and more strategic partnership with ADB effectively delivering high quality economic and social services to PNG, consistent with the Government of PNG’s development plans and strategies.”
She noted that in line with PNG’s ADB portfolio obligations, the government has allocated its counterpart funding requirements in the 2015 national budget to ADB projects and is working diligently to ensure the timely release of funds for effective implementation.
“The government is also in the process of formulating its inaugural PNG Development Aid Policy which aims to govern the coordination and management of development aid and ensure strategic alliances between the government and development partners to achieve sustainable development effectiveness and improve the quality of lives of all Papua New Guineans.”
“ADB’s investments in PNG aim to improve connectivity and in doing so drive growth in businesses and jobs and support people’s access to basic social services,” said Mr. Minc at the signing ceremony. “We are delighted to work with the Government of PNG to help them achieve these development goals.”
The review of ADB’s PNG portfolio shows gains in many areas including a reduction in project delays, shorter time periods between loan signing and the loan becoming effective, and more efficient and swift procurement and submission of audited financial statements. The Government of PNG will work through 2015 to resolve the outstanding issues to expedite procurement, according to ADB.
ADB and the Government of PNG, as long term development partners, have made progress in areas including transport infrastructure, renewable energy, rural livelihoods and primary healthcare, and urban water supply and sanitation. Access to financial services is also growing through the Microfinance Expansion Project, cofinanced by the Government of Australia.
PNG joined ADB in 1971 and is now ADB’s largest Pacific region borrower of loans for public and private sector development, while ADB is now PNG’s second-largest development partner. ADB’s active portfolio in the country currently totals $1.1 billion, including 22 ongoing loans for 11 projects; 8 grants; 9 technical assistance projects, and 2 private sector loan and equity operations. From the overall active portfolio, the Government of PNG contributes approximately $250 million.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.