Australia’s commitment to supporting the development in Papua and West Papua provinces was further strengthened this week by visiting Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr. Greg Moriarty.
Mr Moriarty witnessed a signing, between Papua Governor, Mr. Barnabas Suebu, and West Papua Governor, Mr. Abraham O. Atururi, for a new Australian government-funded program to improve health, education and infrastructure in the two provinces.
“This new program shows Australia’s continued commitment to support the development in the most-eastern Indonesia’s provinces,” said Mr. Moriarty. “We are working with the Indonesian Government, the provincial governments and local governments to achieve lasting development in both the Papua and West Papua provinces,” said Mr. Moriarty.
The Ambassador visited Yowari hospital and a nearby health centre, where the Australian Government is working to improve care and treatment for people with HIV/AIDS.
“HIV prevention and adequate healthcare for those living with HIV/AIDS in Papua and West Papua provinces has become a key focus for Australia as reported cases in the region are above the national Indonesian average,” said Mr. Moriarty.
The Ambassador also met teachers and students at Maripi Primary School, which is now providing a quality education as a result of Australia’s development assistance.
“There are many challenges to improving education quality in Papua and West Papua provinces, including diverse geography, low population density and the remoteness of villages,” said Mr. Moriarty.
“Australia is pleased to be working with UNICEF to support education in Papua and West Papua provinces. This education program gives children in some of the poorest and most remote areas the opportunity to receive quality schooling,” said Mr Moriarty.
The Ambassador also visited rural communities to view the work of local facilitators supported by Australian Government assistance through the PNPM RESPEK program. These facilitators help communities identify priority issues and build basic infrastructure such as roads, bridges and wells. Australia will provide an estimated A$17 million in development assistance to the provinces in 2010-11.(wpnn)