JAYAPURA – U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel visits Jayapura on November 5-6 to meet with government officials and community leaders. Ambassador Marciel's visit to Papua highlights the United States' commitment to working across Indonesia to support increased cooperation under the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership. The United States sees Papua as an integral part of Indonesia and supports progress toward increased economic opportunity and development of local political and civil institutions.
During the visit, the Ambassador will highlight new and existing U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs that support growth and development for the people of Papua. These programs expand on the U.S. government's continuing commitment to support development in the region.
Ambassador Marciel met with the Head of Department of Education, Youth and Sport Affairs for Papua, Dr. James Modouw, to discuss the roll out of a new education curriculum for more than 32,000 students in 355 schools across 6 districts. “A Papua specific curriculum will help inspire Papuan children to learn and will also reflect the profound respect we have for Papua’s rich culture,” said Ambassador Marciel.
The $2.8 million grant from the United States will help the provincial Department of Education to refine, print and distribute the new curriculum, as well as conduct training for teachers. Under the USAID SERASI program, USAID partners with Yayasan Kristen Wamena Teacher Training Institute to develop curricula in Math and Bahasa Indonesia for first and second graders that are adapted to local culture and meet or surpass national standards. The Provincial Government of Papua will use the Papua-specific curriculum in remote areas, particularly the broader highland area. Five highland districts and other organizations that work in non-formal or parallel education system will adopt the curriculum.
During his meetings in Papua Ambassador Marciel also discussed other U.S. assistance initiatives in health, environment, economic development, and governance. The United States is providing $1.5 million in support through a new USAID program that will reduce deforestation, preserve biodiversity, and increase income for Papuans by promoting sustainable management of the Cyclops mountain range. Ambassador Marciel said, “The United States is proud to partner with the Papua Provincial Government Low Carbon Development Taskforce and local governments and communities to reduce deforestation in the Cyclops mountain range and preserve it for future generations.”
The USAID program will partner with local governments, businesses, and communities to promote renewable biomass energy as an alternative to cutting down trees to be converted to charcoal. The program will plant trees and rehabilitate areas that are essential to the health of the Cyclops mountain range and provide water supply for the city of Jayapura. In addition, the program will convene forums in local communities to educate citizens, local governments, the private sector, and NGOs on strategies to improve the management of natural resources. The USAID program in the Cyclops Mountains will help Papua fulfill its commitment and contribute to REDD+, a global initiative to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
USAID is also working with local governments in Papua to finalize a new health governance program to support improvements in the quality of public health service in several districts. The program plans to target improving service delivery in the areas of maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis. This initiative will utilize the lessons from successful USAID efforts in other Indonesian provinces that have improved the quality, effectiveness, and reliability of public services.