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Impediments to the effective use of our aid


"Now, where does this $457 [million] go? I am disgusted to think that the taxpayers of Australia are giving this amount of money with no positive results" – Colin Huggins


AT THE RISK of repeating a recurring theme, the essence of the problem is not what amount of aid is made available, it's how it's spent.

There will be no improvement in the everyday lives of the PNG people while the current methodology is in place.

Why don't government organisations currently managing the overseas aid programs acknowledge this fundamental fact? Because they have no real interest in changing the status quo.

When has a bureaucratic organisation ever told the government that it should be closed down? That proposition is a no brainer.

The situation will improve if two things happen.

First, those paying for the aid must demand practical results for their money. That's where the people that read PNG Attitude come in.

The Australian government has to be made to sit up and take notice. Only then will there be a change in how the overseas aid is managed.

But can anyone see the average Aussie taking a real interest in their neighbour when they have more important things to worry about such as weekend football, The World Cup, and the tax on beer and cigarettes.

The second and far more important issue concerns the distribution of so-called aid monies once some of it reaches the recipient country.

Until and unless there is a revolution in how our millions are spent, there will be the same miserable result: the creation of an aid dependent country that deteriorates rather than improves.

The first impediment won't change while donor governments encourage and promote distractions that divert voters away from how poorly their agencies manage for long term results.

The second impediment cannot change while there is a regime in place in the recipient country that depends on receiving overseas aid to subsidise the extravagant lifestyles which government ministers and their sycophants have become accustomed to.

Of course it is always possible that AusAID might change its methodology and demand reform in PNG. Would someone from AusAID – and many of its staff read PNG Attitude - care to respond?


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Reginald Renagi

Paul - I agree with your views that the average Aussie is too busy with his/her sporting and consumer lifestyles and would not be interested in how their government spends taxpayers money on PNG's development.

The onus must still be on the Australian government to review the efficacy of its aid program.

I believe it must scale it down by 50 percent, or better still cut it out completely and instead increase trade between Australia and PNG.

PNG does not need more aid money from Australia. More trade is the solution to many of its development challenges.

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