Wednesday, August 11, 2010

We are off target: Abal

FOREIGN Affairs and Trade Minister Sam Abal admits that Papua New Guinea and many Pacific Island countries will not meet the millennium development goal (MDG) targets by 2015, The National reports.

Abal was speaking yesterday on return from Jakarta, Indonesia, where he was involved in a special ministerial meeting on the MDG and the 2nd PNG-Indonesia joint ministerial commission.

He said PNG, along with many other Pacific Islands, would not achieve all the MDG goals by target year 2015.

But, he said, PNG had made significant progress.

Abal said it was now up to the government to shape up and tighten up, making budgetary commitments within the next five years until 2015.

He said PNG could make significant progress in the eight MDG, particularly the goals of reducing maternal health and child mortality and achieving universal basic education, because all were already identified and prioritised in the government’s medium-term development strategy, national strategic plan 2030 and Vision 2050.

He said the K10 million district service improvement programme funds could assist in this regard, but it is the question of getting the work done in the districts by individual MPs.

Abal identified decentralising powers to the provinces, under the provincial government reforms, as a hindrance to achieving the targets, because it blocked plans and policies by the central government trickling down to the districts.


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