International Relations. Papua New Guinea press review
Papua New Guinea (PNG) is expanding its electrification and renewable energy (RES) partnership network. This follows a meeting organised by Prime Minister James Marape between the five key partners: PNG joins Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the United States in the Electrification Partnership signed at APEC in 2018, who have pledged to increase electricity access to 70% across the country and to improve the governance of the energy sector in PNG. Over K1 billion (US$2,9 million) has been committed toward these targets by the Partnership to date and a number of substantial projects are in the pipeline.
According to US Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Erin McKee: «Power is the backbone of a strong and prosperous economy and as close partners to PNG we are proud to be working together to help build an electricity sector that will bring affordable power to people now and into the future». Current PEP projects are being implemented in NCD, Central Province, Oro Province, Morobe Province, Eastern Highlands Province, Bougainville (Autonomous Region), Enga Province, East Sepik Province and Western Province, with others coming on stream as well.
However, U.S. Embassy Port Moresby announced today an additional K8 million (US$2.35 million) to support Papua New Guinea’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Made available through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). «The U.S. government commends the hard work of our PNG partners during the first 100 days of COVID-19 response in the country,» said U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Erin McKee. Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $52 million in Papua New Guinea’s health sector alone, and nearly $90 million total.
The PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) reconnaissance capabilities will be enhanced with the use of tactical unmanned aerial systems or drones, Commander Maj-Gen Gilbert Toropo says. Through the Defence cooperation programme between the PNGDF and Australian Defence Force (ADF), a process is underway to acquire 28 new DJI Phantom drones.