PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA (24 May 2017) — David Hill has assumed office as the new Country Director of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Papua New Guinea (PNG) Resident Mission (PNRM) in Port Moresby.
“Working through ADB’s Country Partnership Strategy, we look forward to working with the Government of Papua New Guinea to boost clean energy, rehabilitate and maintain the Highlands Highway and other road subsector infrastructure, improve maritime safety and civil aviation, address climate change, promote private sector development, as well as increase access to health and financial services,” Mr. Hill said.
ADB’s clean energy assistance in PNG includes improving the use of hydropower by upgrading and rehabilitating two hydropower plants. Together with other ADB-financed renewable energy interventions, ADB is helping PNG achieve its national electrification objectives while promoting a shift from using more expensive and environmentally damaging diesel-fueled power generation.
The ADB-supported Civil Aviation Development Investment Program will improve 21 national airports and provide safer and more secure air transport services in the country. While the Highlands Region Road Improvement and Investment Program to rehabilitate and maintain key rural feeder roads is phasing out, the new ten-year Sustainable Highlands Highway Investment Program is about to commence. Collectively, these programs are making transport safer and more accessible by connecting rural roads to main roads and to other transport networks such as Lae port and rehabilitated airports. Provision for public transport is also included.
The Rural Primary Health Services Delivery Project is helping upgrade existing health facilities — including staff housing — while providing medical equipment and other supplies. In collaboration with an Australian government-funded training facility, the project trained health officers on essential and emergency obstetrics care, as well as infectious disease management.
The PNG Microfinance Expansion Project, cofinanced by the Government of Australia, is increasing financial inclusion in PNG and providing financial literacy training to 135,000 people by the end of 2018 — exceeding the original goal by 5,000 people. It continues to support the economic and social empowerment of women, which make up almost half of all trainees to date.
Mr. Hill has 27 years of professional experience as an economist and transport specialist working with international organizations, including ADB, throughout Asia and the Pacific. Mr. Hill joined ADB in 2010. He was a Principal Transport Specialist for the Transport and Communications Division at ADB’s Central and West Asia Department (CWRD) from 2015-2016. In April 2016, he took on the role of Unit Head, Portfolio Management, PNG Resident Mission, Pacific Department (PARD) before becoming Country Director there this month.
ADB has been working with PNG since 1971 and is the country’s largest multilateral development partner. ADB’s active portfolio in PNG totals $1.2 billion, comprising 23 loans, 10 grants from the Asian Development Fund, 6 technical assistance projects, and two loans and equity operations in the private sector.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.