5 Sep 2013

PNG rolls out aid packages to Pacific Island countries

1:16 pm on 5 September 2013

Papua New Guinea has committed a raft of new aid packages to Pacific island countries.

PNG's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill announced the development assistance packages in Majuro at the Pacific Islands Forum summit.

They include a two-million US dollar assistance to Tuvalu for a climate change assistance programme, and a two million dollar package to Tonga for cyclone relief.

The Marshall Islands will also receive one million dollars.

Mr O'Neill says PNG is able to assist in these ways because of its enormous economic growth:

"Averaging about 6 percent per annum, and that growth is expected to continue in the medium term and of course we are expected to double our GDP within a couple of years. So that has enabled us to have additional resources that we can now help other Pacific Island countries and communities throughout the region."

Peter O'Neill says PNG is also assisting Samoa in the area of cyclone relief and for acquiring vessels in the Pacific Forum Line.

Earlier this year, PNG pledged 20 million US dollars to Fiji, half of which is to assist in Fiji's elections planned for next year.