Aid sector endorses Australian Government commitments for strengthening regional health systems, and rebuilding in PNG’s Enga province

Australian Council for International Development
Media release | Friday, 21 July 2024

The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), the peak body for international development and humanitarian action, endorses several positive outcomes for regional development made this week, covering health and initiatives to rebuild in the wake of the landslide in the Enga Province of Papua New Guinea.

In a busy week, the Australian Government held the 30th Australia- Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum and announced numerous key initiatives for development assistance.

Key announcements for health security totaling $32 million will help prevent, detect and respond to health emergencies and infectious diseases for our regional neighbours. These new partnerships will be funded via the Australian Government’s five-year Partnerships for a Healthy Region initiative announced by the Government in February 2023.

ACFID CEO Marc Purcell said: “The Australian aid sector welcomes the package of announcements made by the Government over the past several days. Investment to strengthen health systems in the Pacific is a critical building block for better human development outcomes.”

A partnership between Australia’s national science agency CSIRO and governments throughout the region was also finalised this week.

In response to the newly announced $11 million partnership between Australia’s national science agency CSIRO and governments across the region, ACFID CEO Marc Purcell said it would increase our region’s ability to manage collectively identify, manage and respond to health emergencies in the region.

“COVID-19 exposed structural gaps and inequities across the Pacific and Southeast Asia. This week’s agreement is essential to help strengthen regional health systems.”

ACFID also welcomes the commitment of an additional $2.2 million for recovery efforts following devastating landslides in Enga Province as well as funding for health services, education initiatives and infrastructure to support local communities after this horrific tragedy.

ACFID and the sector are pleased to see Australia contributing to Papua New Guinea’s budget investments to strengthen its legal system, signaling a key commitment to supporting governance priorities in the region.

/Public Release.