PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA (4 April 2018) —The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed a $1 million grant agreement with the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) to help fund priority relief and recovery activities following a 7.5 magnitude earthquake, which struck Hela Province on 26 February.

The agreement was signed by David Hill, ADB Country Director for Papua New Guinea, and Charles Abel, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, at a ceremony in Port Moresby today.

“The earthquake and subsequent aftershocks caused widespread destruction and loss of life,” said Mr. Hill. “This emergency relief assistance will help restore livelihoods. ADB stands ready to provide further assistance for the stricken provinces to rebuild.”

“The Government of Papua New Guinea appreciates the ADB grant, which will assist our relief and restoration efforts,” said Mr. Abel. “Rehabilitation costs for water, roads, electricity, schools, and other sectors are likely to be very significant.”

On 1 March, a state of emergency was declared, following extensive damage in Hela and Southern Highlands provinces, which are considered the worst affected areas by the earthquake. Homes, bridges, roads, and power transmission and health facilities were destroyed, with loss of life estimated to have exceeded 100 people and counting. The disaster also caused severe landslides, which covered whole settlements, blocked roads and contaminated water sources in the affected areas.

The grant will come from ADB’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund—a special fund designed to provide incremental grant resources to ADB developing member countries impacted by a major natural disaster—and will help the estimated 554,000 people that have been affected in five provinces of Papua New Guinea.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.

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