17 Nov 2004

PNG Budget shows government getting serious on HIV/Aids

3:30 pm on 17 November 2004

The government of Papua New Guinea has shifted up a gear in its battle against HIV/Aids as part of its one POINT six billion US dollar Budget for 2005.

Eighty five per cent of the development portion of the Budget comes from foreign donors, including New Zealand but with the largest slice from Australia.

Peter Niesi reports from Port Moresby.

"On the development budget one interesting feature is the HIV/Aids issue - for a long time treated as just a health issue in Papua New Guinea - the government's changed gear on that and made it a developmental issue, allocating 10.5 million [kina] to the National Aids Council, to raise awareness on prevention measures, to stop that rising disease which has affected 1.3 per cent of PNG's 5.2 million people."

Peter Niesi says taxes will stay the same and the recurrent portion of the Budget provides for some salary increases for public servants