Service delivery project launched

National

A rural service delivery project was launched yesterday to support 19 districts across five provinces to improve community access to basic infrastructure and services.
A ceremony at the Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs (DPLGA), was attended by the Minister for Inter-Government Relation Kevin Isifu and representatives from the Australian High Commission and the World Bank.
“This project will work with communities to develop and deliver the services most needed for their circumstances,” Isifu said.
“We welcome today’s launch and the start of this project, which is targeted at rural areas where 80 per cent of our people live.”
The project will be implemented in Western, Central, Chimbu, East New Britain and West Sepik using a community-driven development (CDD) approach, which gives control over planning decisions and investment resources to community groups.
CDD builds on key principles of transparency, participation, local empowerment, greater downward accountability and enhanced local capacity.
The project costing US$28.5 million K89.6 million), is co-financed by the governments of PNG and Australia and the World Bank.
“Australia’s contribution to the next phase of the rural service is an important element of our partnership with Papua New Guinea on decentralisation for improved service delivery,” Australian High Commission minister-counsellor for governance Rod Hilton said.
“Australia’s support will increase the number of grants available to rural wards. At least half of the Australia-funded grants will be allocated to priorities identified by women.”
The project will provide two rounds of ward development grants to rural wards which can be used for a wide range of small-scale social or economic investments and services.
Rural wards will identify their development priorities and be responsible for the design, implementation, and maintenance of their investments, as well as reporting on the use of the funds.
“Today launches a very exciting project to directly benefit people living in rural areas across
Papua New Guinea,” Patricia Veevers-Carter, World Bank’s country manager PNG, said.
“This project will provide grants for more than 400 community sub-projects and benefit at least 400,000 people while also increasing the power of women to contribute to decisions and development priorities.”
A pilot project was implemented in Central and Western which this project will build on and expand.
Implemented over the last four years, 58 sub-projects were completed, including the building of classrooms, aid posts, water supply systems, solar electricity, community halls, and a footbridge.

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