Minister signs deal for EU’s K340mil development fund

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NATIONAL Planning Minister Richard Maru yesterday counter-signed the financial agreement of the European Union’s 11th Development Fund totalling K340 million for the PNG Rural Entrepreneurship, Investment and trade project which will cover the Morobe, Madang and East and West Sepik.
Maru told a media conference in Port Moresby yesterday that EU had signed in Brussels so he had to sign on behalf of the PNG Government as the national authorising officer to lock both parties into the agreement.
“We will begin the process to provide the detailed scope and work on the programme after the signing of the agreement.
“No provincial government is a party to this agreement, the parties are the Government of Papua New Guinea and European Union.
“The K340mil comes to the State then through the Department of National Planning, the Government decides how they allocate the funds for the component of the project that we are now embarking on called PNG Rural Entrepreneurship, Investment and Trade Project.
“This project is not the only one funded by the EU in PNG, there are many other projects.
“EU is the second largest donor after Australia, very important partners and values the relationship.”
European Development Fund Programme director Roger Kara said after the EU received and recorded the documents, a project steering committee would be established to cover, see and direct the implementation of the project at a higher level.
He also said the development of a contribution agreement will also happen which will take six to 12 months that would be the implementation guide at the lower level with the provinces. “With such a large amount of money that’s involved, the government will be fully engaged in this process to ensure that there is relevance and coherence in that particular contribution back to the financial agreement so that we ensure the project is implemented and delivered accordingly,” Kara said.
“We will make sure as the department and from EU desk, NAO Unit collaborates intensively with the Department of Agriculture Livestock and PNG Cocoa Board to ensure these things are documented.
“We will request that the reporting requirements to the government is cemented so that there is necessary reporting.”

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