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UNDP, Netherlands and New Zealand support poverty reduction efforts in Papua and West Papua Provinces
Jakarta, 21 October 2010 – Today, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, through its embassy in Jakarta, has donated 5.8 million dollars and the New Zealand Aid Programme has committed a further 3.8 million dollars in principle to support development and poverty reduction in the Papua and West Papua Provinces. These resources will be channeled through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which is working with BAPPENAS and the Governments of the two Provinces to implement the programme of capacity building and community development in the provinces. The commitments were made during a ceremony to launch the cost-sharing arrangement between the Netherlands and New Zealand Embassies and UNDP together with Bappenas and the Governments of Papua and West Papua.
Papua is commonly known as rich in natural resources, however, investment and high economic growth have not translated into tangible improvements in the lives of people in Papua. Around 35 percent of the Papuans live below the national poverty line as compared to the national average of 13.33 percent (BPS, 2010). Poverty and income disparity in Papua appear to be the largest in the country.
The resources that have been donated will be used to finance the second phase of a People-centred Development Programme that has been under implementation in the provinces, and which is aimed at addressing the high levels of poverty in the two provinces. During the first phase, which started in 2006, the programme achieved some important successes, particularly in helping to strengthen the capacity of the local governments in Papua and West Papua to better deliver services to residents. The partners all agree, however, that there is much more to be done. “After conducting a couple of assessments, we still see quite clearly that there are major issues that still need to be addressed in the provinces, and we will need to significantly scale up the technical assistance and support provided to the Papua region,” said Ms Beate Trankmann, UNDP Country Director in Indonesia. “During this second phase (2010-2012), the programme will emphasize further support at province and district levels in developing MDGs-based plans and budgets, and building stronger partnerships between local government, the private sector and civil society in delivering basic services, particularly in health, education and economic empowerment of local communities (especially indigenous Papuans). We will also need to place greater emphasis on economic development strategies that can help to ensure livelihood opportunities for all Papuans. For this we will need additional resources, and we will need to have all partners onboard.”
At the policy level, the project will assist the governments of Papua and West Papua to establish programmes and policies that are pro-poor, gender-sensitive and in line with the current socio-economic conditions of the region. In the long term, the policies produced are expected to reduce disparities as well as enhance local authority capacity to address poverty issues.
“The Netherlands is committed to assist the Government of Indonesia and the Provincial Governments of Papua and West Papua in accelerating the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the full implementation of the Special Autonomy Law,” said H.Tjeerd de Zwaan, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Indonesia. “Papua is one of our top priorities in Indonesia, particularly in terms of poverty reduction and community empowerment.”
The ultimate objective of the programme is to help improve the living conditions and opportunities available to the people of the region, by strengthening the capacity of provincial and district governments to implement poverty reduction policies and programmes and by building stronger collaboration between Government, communities, CSOs, the private sector and development partners .
“An important and key change in this Phase II is the greater emphasis for encouraging enterprise development at the sub-district level for small and medium sized businesses. This will strengthen resilience, provide livelihood opportunities and ultimately assist to improve the status of health and well-being of the beneficiaries,” said H.E. Mr David Taylor, New Zealand Ambassador to Indonesia. “Addressing these underlying impediments to economic growth in the Papua’s provinces alongside the other components of the programme will thus reduce people’s vulnerability to poverty and provide a platform for sustainable economic growth.”
“On the next phase implementation, PcDP phase II is expected to remain support the Government policy in accelerating development in Papua and West Papua, in particular to support the special unit of acceleration in each province,” said H.E. Professor Armida Alisjahbana, Minister of National Development Planning/Head of Bappenas. “The Government invites much wider engagements of all respective development agencies, development partners, and in particular private businesses to take part in the efforts for development acceleration in Papua and West Papua provinces in the future.”
* The figure of 3.8 million dollars from New Zealand Aid Programme is a tentative figure. The real figure will be as stated in the contract yet to be signed.
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