MANILA, PHILIPPINES (26 November 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $150 million loan to help Papua New Guinea (PNG) provide affordable, accessible, high-quality health services for all PNG citizens.

The loan will fund the third and final subprogram of the ADB-supported Health Services Sector Development Program.

“Through ADB’s program, national and health-specific reforms are expected to increase the availability of funds, and the effectiveness and efficiency of how resources are used,” said Principal Public Management Specialist of ADB’s Pacific Department Pamela Wyatt. “This is especially critical during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic which has heightened the government’s financing needs and put pressure on the country’s health sector.”

There are three reform areas under subprogram 3. The first is the enhancement of public financial management, to support improved health service delivery and, more broadly, the delivery of government services. The second reform area is strengthening subnational health systems, including provincial institutional arrangements and operations, as well as the flow of funds to the provincial health sector and the capacity to monitor the use of these funds. The third reform area is boosting the delivery of health services, including the efficiency of the procurement and distribution of medical supplies.

In support of the ongoing response to COVID-19 in Papua New Guinea, the program also focused on ensuring the government had put in place effective institutional and legislative frameworks for planning and implementing its COVID-19 response.

ADB’s assistance is expected to promote fiscal sustainability by supporting critical reforms across public financial management and health operations to improve efficiency and transparency. Implementation of these reforms will continue to be supported through the ongoing investment component of the Health Services Sector Development Program which continues through September 2025.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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