25 May 2006

NZ and Australia add funds to fight HIV in PNG

3:50 pm on 25 May 2006

New Zealand and Australia are providing 3.5 million US dollars each to assist Papua New Guinea's efforts to combat HIV Aids.

This move by NZ Aid and AusAid follows the PNG government pledging 3 million US dollars, and the Asian Development Bank giving 15 million dollars.

ADB Project Specialist, John Izard, says latest estimates are that at least 47,000 people in PNG are diagnosed with HIV Aids.

John Izard says PNG's five-year project, that has been estimated to cost 25 million dollars, will centre on prevention and better monitoring of the infection in high risk areas.

"The epidemic has reached a stage that most people are beginning to take seriously. We hope that this project in collaboration with our partners will have a measurable impact on the epidemic."

John Izard, a project specialist at the ADB.