18 Oct 2010

Health and education in PNG predicted to benefit from consultants cut

2:37 pm on 18 October 2010

The amount of Australian aid money that will go to health and education in Papua New Guinea is being predicted to increase as a result of a rejig of the aid budget for that country.

The Australian Foreign Minister's advised his PNG counterpart that the number of aid advisers to PNG will be cut by more than a third over the next two years.

PNG receives more than 450 million US dollars a year in aid funding, almost half of which goes to nearly 500 technical advisers or contractors.

The head of the Melanesia Programme at the Australian international policy think tank, the Lowy Institute, says it's not easy to measure the benefits of longer-term policy work done in areas such as social justice.

Jenny Hayward-Jones says at the recent United Nations summit in New York there was a lot of interest in seeing quicker outcomes on the 2015 Millennium Development Goals.

"Papua New Guinea is I believe the one country in the region that is looking like it's failing on all of them just in terms of timeframe. So there's certainly an imperative there to improve the outcome and to do that you need to improve service delivery in health and education, there's no getting around that."

The head of the Melanesia Programme at the Lowy Institute, Jenny Hayward-Jones.