Indonesia-United States Collaboration to Accelerate Development in Papua – Last week, the United States Government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), joined the Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) and Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI) to visit the provinces of Papua, West Papua, and West Papua for the launch of a new initiative that will help accelerate development in the region. The series of visits will be carried out on 7-11 November 2022.

The Papua Collaborative Governance Indonesia Program (USAID Kolaborasi) is a five-year, US$10 million program to support the Master Plan for the Acceleration of Development in Papua.

The USAID Collaboration implemented by the child-focused humanitarian foundation Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI) will work with the government to strengthen cooperation with development partners, businesses and other stakeholders, as well as assist the provinces of Papua and West Papua in using the Special Autonomy Fund which will maximizing benefits for local residents.

Together with Bappenas, provincial and district governments, USAID will improve the quality of public services and enhance the skills of local institutions to oversee budget allocation and execution, as well as engagement with local citizens.

“This joint visit shows our commitment to support the Indonesian government in creating a prosperous Papua region,” said USAID Indonesia Director Jeff Cohen. “This trip will also enable USAID and the Government of Indonesia to better understand development challenges and the needs of the Indigenous Papuans (OAP) in regional development.”

“From previous discussions with the local government, we have captured the challenges of development in Papua, particularly related to the implementation of Special Autonomy,” said Himawan Haryoga, Deputy for Regional Development at Bappenas. Himawan further added that this challenge could be answered through the existence of a Master Plan for the Acceleration of Development in Papua which is based on the needs of the community.

USAID Collaboration is expected to improve the function and accountability of governance in Papua and West Papua. This program will be implemented not only by the humanitarian foundation Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI), but also with partners from local Community Social Organizations (CSOs) such as the Kitong Bisa Foundation (KBF) and the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID).

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