The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Papua New Guinea’s growing partnership is based on improvements in service delivery capacity, a forum was told in Port Moresby last Friday.
The event provided updates on ADB projects and programs in PNG and discussed potential challenges and opportunities that will be faced by the PNG Government and its development partners in 2014.
“ADB’s activities in PNG have grown considerably over recent years. ADB is now PNG’s second largest development partner with a portfolio of $1.1 billion with 22 active loans, 17 grants and 2 private sector loan and equity operations,” said Noriko Ogawa, Deputy Director General of ADB’s Pacific Department.
The forum was told that ADB assistance is supporting the PNG Government’s growing investment in transport and renewable energy infrastructure and is complemented by targeted interventions to support rural health delivery, public financial management, microfinance and private sector development.
With infrastructure recording a 46% increase in funding in the 2014 Budget, the real challenge for the next year will be one of implementation and delivery, the ADB said. In response to these implementation challenges, ADB is working with the Government to deliver its support through larger and longer-term approaches that help create predictable sources of finance for executing agencies, encourages long-term investment planning, supports higher quality project preparation and provides partner agencies with resources to recruit and build-up local staff capacity over an extended period.
As of November 2013, disbursements for ADB supported projects in PNG totaled $152.3 million, up from $91.7 million in 2012.
Papua New Guinea joined ADB in 1971. It is ADB's largest partner in the Pacific in terms of loans for public and private sector development.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2012, ADB assistance totaled $21.6 billion, including cofinancing of $8.3 billion.