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PNG facing development challenges

Papua New Guinea continues to face serious development challenges, says Australia’s latest Foreign Policy White Paper.

Its population of about 8 million – 40 percent under the age of 15 – is projected to reach 18 million by 2050, the white paper noted.

The delivery of services is suffering because of a shortage of capacity and a constrained budget. Many development indicators – such as maternal, child and infant mortality, rate of communicable diseases, and access to clean water and sanitation – are poor.

“Reflecting its challenges and the closeness in our relationship, Papua New Guinea is our largest development partner with Australia investing about $550 million a year in assistance. We work together to encourage economic growth, improve governance and support health and education,” the white paper said.

It said Australia was also helping Papua New Guinea to empower women and foster a new generation of leaders.

Australia will continue to support the Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Governments to implement the 2001 Peace Agreement, which underpins peace and stability in Bougainville. Post Courier/PNG Today
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