THE EUROPEAN Union is set to allocate a funding package of €184 million to Papua New Guinea through its European Development Fund (EDF).

The program was to be signed between PNG planning minister Charles Abel and the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, during the latter’s visit to the Pacific, taking place as PNG Resources went to press.

Funding released under the National Indicative Program for Papua New Guinea will last until 2020, with the €184 million total being an increase of nearly 80 per cent compared to the tenth EDF.

Assistance will target three strategically important sectors for the sustainable and inclusive development of Papua New Guinea – namely rural entrepreneurship (€85 million), water, sanitation and hygiene (€60 million) and education (with a focus on Technical and Vocational Education and Training, €30 million).

Mr Mimica will also sign a Regional Indicative Program under the 11th European Development Fund for the Pacific region.

Compared to the previous EDF, the budget of the new programme has been increased by a third, to a total of €166 million.

The new support will target three priority areas, namely regional economic integration; sustainable management of natural resources, environment and management of waste; as well as inclusive and accountable governance and the respect of Human Rights.