Australia’s development aid program in Papua New Guinea is set to approach one billion kina in 2008-09. The budgeted spend of K973.2 million represents an increase of more than K83 million over this year. “On top of this, PNG will also have access to a significant pool of regional funding,” says Margaret Thomas, AusAID head in PNG. The budget includes additional allocations of K33 million for infrastructure, K15 million for education, K15 million for governance and K6 million for health.
Improved governance and nation-building will be supported by programs covering economic and public sector reform, law and justice and border security. The struggle against HIV/AIDS, a pernicious influence in PNG, will be supported by a K250 million five-year program.