Zibe slams EU funding policy

National, Normal

HEALTH Minister Sasa Zibe has explained to Parliament his recent outburst on the European Union’s strategy in refusing to work with the National Government.
Mr Zibe said his comments were on the issue of the EU not complementing National Government programmes, and questions over their sustainability.
He said during Parliament Question Time that PNG was a member of the international community where donors give assistance to governments to support their people.
Mr Zibe that said one such international partner was the European Union, which is helping with a water supply programme.
He said although the programme was working, it did not work together with the Government of this country.
“I sat with them and discussed how best we can try and help the 89 districts who have a need for proper water supply, but they wanted to work with non-State actors, and will not accept any proposal that the 89 MPs will provide to them.
“No, that won’t be accepted because the programme is about working with non-State actors only.
“So my question to them was yes, I understand for the purpose of accountability and good governance the EU has decided to work with non-State actors.”
But Mr Zibe said these non-State actors did not have the capacity, not only for doing the work, but they did not have the capacity for national coverage.
“That was my point.”
He said for example in Lae, there were two non-State actors, Andra and Lutheran Development Services.
“But if you go to places like Vanimo, Kavieng and Manus, do the non-State actors there have capacity?
“No, so that’s why I asked them if they can change their strategy and work together with the National Government so we can make submissions,” he added.
He said the Government now had funds for the water and sanitation programme but this must be complemented with the donor programme.
“We put our funds, the donors put their money and we work together on the programme.
“It’s the issue of sustainability. Once the programme comes, it must be programmed to work and when they depart, there must be sustainability,” Mr Zibe said.