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04 November 2018


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Paul Oates

The differences between 'some' aid givers and others are often that the aid monies are allocated to construction companies owned by the same government that is funding the potential aid project.

Australia used to get blasted for this 'boomerang aid' but for some reason, no one seems to to saying that about these wonderful new 'aid' projects?

Could it be that the strategy of providing additional kickbacks (sorry incentive initiatives, overseas training visits and additional consultancy emoluments), seems to work better than just straight aid?

Philip Fitzpatrick

This is in effect what the Chinese are doing. They are targeting projects for direct aid as well as making loans to the national government to fritter away as it sees fit.

It is unfortunate that the Chinese targets are not more humanitarian based. Instead of building things they should be targeting the needs outlined by Chips.

It is also unfortunate that the loans it gives to the national government have a hidden sting in the tail.

Nevertheless, Australia could learn a few tricks here.

It once tried to target its aid and upset a lot of Papua New Guineans in the process who thought they were being patronised and portrayed as bad money managers.

If it split its aid like China but in a more open and humanitarian manner it might work better. Give the national government money to play with but also directly fund needy projects; maybe even using the method Chips suggests.

Paul Oates

On another more practical note, I do agree wholeheartedly with Chips about person to person aid.

The central issue is how to remove the sticky fingers between the two points of giver and receiver?

I previously sent a detailed suggestion as requested from AusAid on how to provide aid that worked. That proposal was on the internet for a number of years.

For some reason, the provision and distribution of medical supplies by DFAT to PNG then closely resembled this system for two years. Clearly a case of parallel thinking.

Anyway, after the two spectacular years of success, the PNG Health Minister and his sycophant Department chose to pay K70 million more to a non tenderer who clearly did not and could not deliver what was previously achieved. The supply of pharmaceuticals to PNG then collapsed as Julie Bishop quite rightly refused to fund this corruption.

Ministers and top departmental heads reportedly received wonderful trips abroad however, funded by the corruption, but the PNG people as we know, were sold a pup.

What's to stop that happening again? Removing the official 'sticky fingers' from the process as I originally suggested. Could DFAT again cope with the scenario? Could the PNG government cope with that scenario?

Clearly it requires some lateral thinking as Chips suggests.

Paul Oates

If I remember the story Chips, Cabbage was a pig.

It sure doesn't look like a dog in the photo anyway. (Ahem... Should have gone to Specsavers...)

Woof, oink - you and Phil obviously both have a keen eye for domesticated animals - KJ

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