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Saturday, 21 October


Korean arrested for exchanging K50,000 of demonetized currency PNGexposed Blog

Still many questions unanswered about how demonetized Kina came to leave PNG and is now in Korean hands in the Philippines

Source: Rey Galupo \ The Philippine Star 

The Korean tried to exchange 50,000 kina, the demonetized Papua New Guinea currency, into pesos when he was arrested.

A Korean man was arrested and charged with estafa after he exchanged P160,000 worth of a demonetized currency in Binondo, Manila on Wednesday. 

Kim Jae Song went to the moneychanger stall of businessman Johnny Hao, 71, at the basement of 999 Mall at around 11 a.m. and had his 10,000 kina (Papua New Guinea currency) changed into pesos, which is equivalent to P160,120.87.

Kim introduced himself as Rey Lee during the transaction and hurriedly left.

However, Haos nephew, Bryon Pedelos, later learned that the Papua New Guinea currency that the suspect swapped was no longer accepted as legal tender after he tried to sell it to other moneychangers.

They learned that the currency had bee...

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Friday, 20 October


Challenging aid orthodoxies Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre

The Fiji Womens Crisis Centre, or FWCC, is housed in a prominent downtown Suva building, its logo and messages blazoned over its fence and walls. In equal parts service provider, sector trainer and public advocate, the FWCC has been a trailblazer not only in Fiji but in the broader Pacific region since its establishment in 1984. It has done more than any other organisation to get gender-based violence in the Pacific on the agenda, and to strengthen services to survivors.

In Devpolicys latest Aid Profile, I attempt to tell the remarkable story of FWCC.

In this blog I reflect on the equally remarkable fact that the Australian aid program has been FWCCs principal funder almost from the start, beginning in 1990 and continuing to this day.

Australias annual support is relatively modest about $1 to $1.5 million a year. But there are very few projects with this longevity in the Australian aid program, and even fewer with such high returns.

Challenging aid orthodoxy

Support to the FWCC is one of Australias most successful aid projects, perhaps the most successful in the Pacific. (A challenge to anyone to come up with a more successful one.)

And yet, apart from the fact that it involves the backing a local champion, Australias support for FWCC breaches aid orthodoxy. Aid is meant to get things going. It is to invest in change, not to cover recurrent costs, and certainly not to fund the same project for three decades.

If the success flies in the face of orthodoxy, lets rethink orthodoxy. Here are four lessons I draw from the FWCC story.

One, use the flexibility of Australian aid to provide more funding to civil society. Rather than relying entirely on supply-side measures, use NGOs to put pressure on and work with government to improve performance. Annual funding to FWCC is no more than the cost of a couple of expat advisers.

Two, provide more funding to local civil society. Most of the hundreds of millions of dollars Australian aid provided to NGOs goes to Australian NGOs. Those Australian NGOs often work with local NGOs, but very few of the latter graduate to receive aid funding directly. FWCC graduated quickly from indirect to direct support, and is a role model in this regard.

Three, dont fetishise government ownership as the Paris Declaration did. The Fijian government has never owned the FWCC, and at times has been hostile to it.

Four, provide long-term recurrent funding. The secret of good aid is to find out what works, and stick with it. Think of aid in terms of decades rather than years. Perhaps three decades should be thought of as a standard time for a successful aid project, rather than three years.



Fortnightly links: artificial intelligence, the Cook Islands, Chinese aid and more Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre

Our World in Data has an excellent blog post that brings together its previous work on long-term improvements in human living conditions.

The EU is pouring money into Africas poorest economies, hoping to stop the tens of millions of migrants and refugees leaving these countries for Europe, but will this really stop the exodus?

The Guardian covers the Cook Islands current dilemma: prosperity. It is possible the Cook Islands may soon be too wealth to qualify for Official Development Assistance (ODA). According to the Cook Island News, however, it looks like the day of aid reckoning will be postponed for the time being. The country lacks adequate Gross National Income data to determine whether it is, or is not, actually too affluent be an eligible ODA recipient.

Will artificial intelligence ruin the development of low and middle income countries?

Existing studies on public service provision in developing countries often reach negative conclusions on staff performance. Heres a much more positive set of findings from recent work on health professionals in Uganda.

The new AidData paper causing a flap is here. The key finding: Chinese aid causes growth. This may well be open to methodological challenge, but the underlying data are fascinating regardless.

The post Fortnightly links: artificial intelligence, the Cook Islands, Chinese aid and more appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.

Thursday, 19 October








 It is understandable that Nautilus shareholders want to protect their own financial interests but new investors should beware the Solwara 1 project is very high risk said Sir Amet.
The muddy puddle at the so-called test site at Motukea Island is not fit for purpose. It will not provide any evidence that these machines wont malfunction at the intended operating depth of 1.6 km. The hulks are already deteriorating in our tropical conditions.

Canadian company Nautilus is still desperately seeking funds for its flagship Solwara 1 deep sea mining project. Commercial operation has been delayed year after year since it received its licence to mine the floor of the Bismarck sea in 2011.
In a last ditch bid to finance Solwara 1, Nautiluss two largest shareholders have now formed a new company whose sole job is to secure funding for the Solwara 1 project [1].

 Nautilus is not a professional outfit stated Sir Amet.
I am concerned that the Papua New Guinean Government has bought a 15% share in a dodgy project, any operating disasters by Nautilus Minerals will quickly translate into an environmental catastrophe for the Bismarck Sea and its communities. The associated financial liabilities will be huge.

In recent statements the machine operators for the Solwara 1 project voiced their fears about the safety of operating the equipment 1.6 km under the surface and only 25 km off the coast of New Ireland Province [2].
In their Annual information forms lodged with Canadian Securities, Nautilus describes Solwara 1 as an experiment both the environmental impacts and profits are complete unknown [3]. Nautilus has declined to conduct a preliminary economic assessment, pre-feasibility study or feasibility study as per conventional industry practice.

 With this high level of environmental and financial risk, The PNG Government should never have issued Nautilus with its licence. It was issued even though PNG has no legal framework to regulate such a mine and we have no capacity to monitor its impacts. The legal context for the licensing Solwara 1 is highly questionable continued Sir Amet...

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