15 Nov 2011

New unit to accelerate development in Papua set to begin its work

8:49 pm on 15 November 2011

The new unit created by Indonesia's government to accelerate development in Papua is set to begin its work by the end of the month.

Despite Jakarta announcing the establishment of UP4B near the start of the year, it is still not fully functional.

UP4B has been created on the grounds that nearly US$3.2 billion of special autonomy funds disbursed for Papua and West Papua provinces since 2002 have failed to change poor human development outcomes in the region.

A former military commander in Aceh, Lt. Gen Bambang Darmono, has been appointed as Chairman of UP4B.

General Bambang says health and education programmes need to be run properly.

"I will implement a lot of things. I think it needs more time to discuss on that point. But I would say that co-ordination, synchronisation and making sure needs are met (is how) to deal with it. But I will deal with this... it's my business."

Bambang Darmono denies that ongoing abuses by security forces are hindering development in the troubled region