Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd pledged USD38 million in additional aid to curb HIV’s spread in Papua New Guinea. The Pacific country is home to 60,000 people living with the disease, and the number is expected to rise to 500,000 by 2025. “We have a feeling of compassion towards our combined humanity to act on challenging the spread of HIV-AIDS,” Rudd declared. The Australian leader delivered the announcement during his two-day visit, a journey which took him to the country’s capital, Port Morseby, and the eastern highlands of Goroka. “We wanted to welcome Kevin Rudd as a son of Goroka. Australia helps us with aid, but never gives us a physical visit. Now he knows exactly what the Australian Government is doing,” said James Yoba, one of Goroka’s local residents. “Our Government recognizes that there is more to Papua New Guinea than Port Moresby alone – this a big country with many language groups, with diverse cultures,” the Australian premier stressed. Australia is Papua New Guinea’s most generous donor, dispensing USD355 million in yearly aid.
Source: Warm welcome as Rudd announces more aid (The Sydney Morning Herald)