PNG, Japan Sign K60m Assistance Deal
Japan will provide more than K60 million to support the health sector and the Maritime and Safety Authority in the procurement of speedboats and telecommunication equipment under a deal signed yesterday.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Patrick Pruaitch and Japanese Ambassador Mr Kuniyuki Nakahara yesterday signed the exchange of notes for the extension of the economic and social development program to support the health sector and the procurement of speedboats and telecommunication equipment for the authority.
Provided under the agreement for maritime security are three speedboats and telecommunication equipment worth 1 billion Yen, or approximately K32 million, Health sector development (medical equipment such as CT Scanner, X-ray machines, worth 900 million Yen, or K29 million.
Ambassador Nakahara said the three speedboats have very powerful engines and are fully equipped for the NMSA branch offices at Alotau, Kokopo and Madang.
He said the telecommunication equipment will be installed at six NMSA branches and are expected to catch almost all SOS signals from the coastal ocean in PNG.
“In Papua New Guinea, I have heard that more than 60 per cent of its population, about 5 million people, are living in coastal areas and use varied types of boats for their living. They are facing dangers including sudden change of climate, piracy or troubles with boat engines or other equipment. It is my sincere hope that the new speedboats and telecommunication equipment of NMSA will save lives and will make a considerable contribution to the development of the coastal economy of Papua New Guinea,” he said.
Amb Nakahara said the varied medical equipment, such as CT Scanner, X-ray machines and others are to be provided to the Port Moresby General Hospital and provincial hospitals under the coordination of the Department of Health.
Mr Pruaitch, on behalf of the Government, thanked Japan for the K32 million to develop the capacity of the NMSA to deliver improved security and surveillance on maritime and coastal travel and activities in PNG.
He said the K29 million to the health sector is important and critical at this time when PNG continued to remain vigilant in its effort to monitor and control the global Covid-19 pandemic.
“The inclusion of the grant assistance to the health sector through the provision of live saving equipment such as medical equipment and laboratory instruments and protection gear is vital to enhancing the capacity of hospitals and medical facilities to complement the government’s efforts to combat Covid-19 and other diseases and medical challenges in PNG.”