K35m available for innovative projects

National, Normal


ORGANISATIONS with innovative projects aimed at strong development impacts for Papua New Guineans will now be able to access finances through the Australia Papua New Guinea Incentive Funds (APNGIF).
This has been made available through its third phase from the Australian government via aid agency, AusAID.
National Planning and District Development Minister Paul Tiensten announced this yesterday at the launch of APNGIF in the Hohola Youth Development Centre (HYDC).
Mr Tiensten said  more than K220 million of the funds were spent on 39 projects in 15 provinces on health, education, infrastructure, agriculture and gender equality, which also included the current facilities at the HYDC, in seven years.
Australian High Commissioner Ian Kemish said that since 2000, town markets in Mt Hagen and Paiam, hospitals in Kunjip, Alotau, Kimbe and Mt Hagen, new facilities at Divine Word University and PNG Maritime College and a new bridge at West New Britain all had benefited from APNGIF.
Also provided were 155 new teachers houses, 132 classrooms and 11 school libraries, more than 1,000 dormitory beds given to boarding schools and 600 new spaces were created for female students.
The Australian government is looking to spend about K35 million annually until 2014 in training, skills and economic development activities and health activities at regional, provincial and community levels in PNG.
Mr Tiensten said the PNG Government had also recognised the importance of service delivery to the rural populations and had provided assistance for capacity building through the churches and NGOs.
“The sustainability of capacity development and actual infrastructure needs to be balanced and is important that APNGIF is consistent with PNG’s Vision 2050.
“This can be achieved through the PNG Development Strategy Plan 2010-30, focusing specifically on the poverty corridors of PNG as stipulated in the Economic Development Corridor Concept,” he said.
With the commencement of the third phase, previous and current recipients are encouraged to apply.
 Mr Tiensten said the benefits were set to continue with grants now available from K500,000 to K10 million up until 2014.
Applications will be made available through the print media.