Australia’s aid programs with Papua New Guinea did not begin just in the recent decade, it originated from a period before World War 2 when grants of approximately $100,000 were made to Papua New Guinea. In 1950 the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers met in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and it was here that the Colombo plan was launched, providing aid to countries in the south/south-east Asia region. Australia provides a diverse range of aid facilities such as education scholarships, technical cooperation, training and staff assistance to countries of the region. In 1973, when Papua New Guinea was granted full independence, Australia changed its previous perception of Papua New Guinea as a dependant nation to a capable country with many developing opportunities. However, several obstacles have arisen such as the high levels of HIV/AIDs in the country, the low literacy levels leading to poverty, around 40% of PNG’s population lives on less than $1 a day. As Australia became more of a global citizen after the 1950s, its contribution to the aid of PNG expanded rapidly. Approximately two thirds of our aid goes to PNG, making it the largest recipient of bilateral aid from Australia. (Figure 1.1)
Due to Papua New Guinea’s severe economic problem, Australia focuses its aid program on sustaining economic growth while moving the economy to a higher growth path. Australia believes that poverty alleviation and regional stability is dependent on fluent governance, effective service and sustainable economic growth without severe recessions. To achieve this Australia plans to build an efficient and sustainable government institutions, as well as responsible leadership which are keys to improvements of the economy and the several aspects that are tied with it such as health, education and public infrastructures. Australia has developed the “PNG-Australia Development Cooperation Strategy” to help Papua New Guinea reduce poverty levels, promote continuous... [continues]
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