AusAID spent over 170 million dollars on HIV programs in PNG between 2007 and 2010, but the report says that there is little evidence that AusAID’s support has limited the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Public health organisation The Burnet Institute is partly-funded by AusAID, and works in PNG HIV/AIDS programs.
Burnet Institute Director and CEO, Brendan Crabb, told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat that while there are failings in AusAID’s PNG HIV/AIDS program, they need to be understood in context.
‘There was predictions in the five to ten year ago period that we could be looking at a million Papua New Guineans HIV positive by now, out of the seven million that live there,’ Mr Crabb said.
‘The real number is down under, you know is around 50,000.’
Mr Crabb says that the lack of detailed and accurate information means that there is little understanding of which programs are successful.
Co-director of AIDWATCH, Liz Barret, says high-level scrutiny of taxpayer-funded aid programs will always be a good thing.
‘I think its actually completely critical to have quite open discussion about programs, how they operate, how they benefit the community and the impacts.’
Ms Barret adds that while the report provides valuable scrutiny of the AusAID-supported HIV programs in Papua New Guinea, it’s yet to be seen if the report will be acted upon.
‘I think implementation is always the difficulty in these things and we would imagine that AusAID, post this report being published would be taking on the recommendations from the report and how to implement that,’ she said.