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Need for better way to use aid, says Prime Minister O'Neill

Development assistance has become a billion dollar industry where so much of the goodwill ends up in the pockets of middlemen and expensive consultants, said Papua New Guinea  Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill.

Prime Minister  Peter O’Neill made the comments in a statement released yesterday and called for a rethink in the way development support is delivered in the Asia-Pacific. He said there has to be a better deal for the taxpayers of contributing countries like Australia, while recipient countries want to ensure support develops real capacity and skills and is only ever seen as temporary.

"I wonder if the people of Australia realise how much of the money they give to help Papua New Guinea and other countries is actually paid to middlemen and lawyers.” The PM said one of the biggest obstacles to effective development support were middlemen who take commissions on aid expenditure. "As a developing country, we don’t want handouts, we don’t want Australian taxpayer money wasted and we don’t want boomerang aid. "We will develop better arrangements," the Prime Minister stated.

"Papua New Guinea is changing, we are growing and as a nation of 8 million people we want to move beyond hand-outs and work with our partners to strengthen capacity.” The Prime Minster said in Papua New Guinea there will be a review of support arrangements that will save money for contributing countries and deliver capacity and skills in recipient countries.

"In 2016 Papua New Guinea will move to a model where our partners will be welcome to fund positions within our Government. These staff can then work and report through the Papua New Guinea Government system and we will deliver their salaries through arrangements with the donor countries.” "That will be an effective way to strengthen our Government systems from within so that after a period of time this development assistance will no longer be needed.” The current support delivery sees foreigners occupying positions where they are actually doing the work that should be done by Papua New Guineans.

"Then when they end their contracts they do not leave behind capacity or skills. This is not good for Papua New Guinea or the donor country.” "We need to move to a point that we do not need to take a single dollar from our friends in Australia and other partners as our country develops.

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