NEC Approves A K500m Funding Envelope for Natural Disaster Relief

In response to the spate of natural disasters ravaging parts of Papua New Guinea, Prime Minister Hon. James Marape today announced an envelope of K500 million  funding package aimed at providing immediate relief and restoration to the affected populations.

“To facilitate this relief effort, the funds will be drawn from a variety of sources including the 2024 Budget, Connect PNG, the District Services Improvement Programme (DSIP), and the Provincial Services Improvement Programme (PSIP), disaster funds and support from development partners” Prime Minister Marape said.

“The Office of the Chief Secretary understands the enormity of the situation and is coordinating a whole of government approach through a National Disaster Steering Committee to assess and coordinate with the help of National Disaster Office and provincial disaster offices for special interventions.

“This financial mobilisation is aimed at ensuring that the support reaches the communities most in need without delay and restoration is made to areas affected.

“I call on districts and provinces directly affected by these natural disasters to expedite the process of accessing their allocated DSIP and PSIP funds. This proactive measure is intended to enhance the efficiency of the relief distribution process, ensuring that the funding support not only reaches all affected areas but does so in a timely manner.”

To ensure funds are immediately available, the Prime Minister has directed Finance Minister Hon. Rainbo Paita, to facilitate the immediate drawdown of DSIP and PSIP funds plus infrastructure funds that are in the 2024 budget. Further financial instruction has been made to ensure the use of service improvement funds to address disaster relief.

“Papua New Guinea, has been recently hit hard by earthquake, flooding caused by heavy rain and ensuing landslips, king tides, strong winds and others,” Prime Minister Marape stated.

“This includes this morning’s earthquake in East Sepik and parts of Madang provinces where assessments are currently being carried out in partnership with provincial and local authorities.

“I commend the work done by Department of Works and Highways in opening up the Highlands and Ramu highways.”

The Prime Minister’s statement further detailed the targeted areas, notably mentioning Gumine, Chimbu, as a region of particular concern where the impact of these natural calamities has resulted in loss of life. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the citizens who have been hard hit by these disasters.”