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The Papua New Guinea Government has secured a K1 billion (approximately US$285 million) loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to support the 2021 budgets and boost the Covid-19 responses, says Treasury Minister Ian Ling-Stuckey.
After the loan agreement was signed in Port Moresby, Ling-Stuckey said the national revenue dropped by 20 per cent last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our Government has reached out for international support to sustain our devastated economy,” Ling-Stuckey said.
“This loan will support our 2021 budget.”
The loan is in line with the Government policy to replace expensive commercial loans with cheap transitional financing.
The funds are to support regional health centres so that they can address the Covid-19 risk wherever it happens. He said more needed to be done to strengthen health systems so that the people received the assistance they needed during this difficult time.
JICA will disburse about K988 million(US$281.5 million) to aid the national budget with an interest rate of 0.1 per cent per annual and four-year grace period which benefits the economy.
“This respective JICA programme, Covid-19 crisis response emergency support loan aims to enhance public financial management, improve sub-national health system budget support, there by contributing to the promotion of socio-economic stability and development of PNG.
“The Covid-19 has tested the health systems of all countries, and sent the developed economics to the brink of recession.
“However, it has also brought countries much closer than before,” he said.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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