27 Aug 2018

Criticism of Aust aid in Bougainville dismissed

11:16 am on 27 August 2018

Bougainville president John Momis has dismissed criticism of Australian aid to the region.

Arawa, Bougainville

Arawa, Bougainville Photo: RNZI

Last week MP Joseph Watawi claimed Australian aid amounted to interference and that support for Bougainville's development was tokenistic.

He said Australia was just sending advisors when what is needed are nurses, doctors and engineers.

But Mr Momis said this is not true.

He said Australian aid is making a big difference in the lives of ordinary Bougainvilleans.

The president said Australia is helping build infrastructure, enhance Bougainville's economic development and is bringing real benefits for people at the grassroots level.

He said Australia provides support for health, education, law and justice, economic development, peace building and governance.

Mr Momis said Australia was an active part of the peace process, and together with the United Nations and other partners continues to play a role in advancing peace and the full implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

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