25 Jun 2008

Increased New Zealand aid to PNG for rural development and health

8:41 pm on 25 June 2008

New Zealand's new development aid strategy will see increased support for economic development in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

The New Zealand aid and development agency, NZAID, announced the strategy yesterday , outlining increased spending and a greater focus on the Pacific, through to 2015.

PNG, along with Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, is a key beneficiary, with around 18 million US dollars in aid this year.

The Pacific director of NZAID, Craig Hawke, says in PNG they will place a strong emphasis on strengthening rural livelihoods.

"So for example we are looking at longer term engagement with the fresh produce development agency and they are looking at helping rural dwellers to get product and access to the markets."

Craig Hawke says in the health sector NZAID will continue working at both village level, such as on the women's health programme in East Sepik run in conjunction with Save the Children, and also at government level.