Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has unveiled a transformative initiative, demonstrating the government’s commitment to strengthening its partnership with the churches in Papua New Guinea. He made this announcement during a fundraising dinner hosted by the Papua New Guinea Council of Churches (PNGCC) in Port Moresby on Saturday, October 21, 2023, attended by a full-house crowd.
Prime Minister Marape revealed that 10% of all earnings generated by Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd (KPHL) and Kumul Minerals Holdings Ltd (KMHL) will be dedicated to supporting the critical work undertaken by churches throughout the nation. These funds will be channeled into various areas, including healthcare, education, especially the Flexible Open Distance Education (FODE), youth development, addressing the growing number of school leavers, agricultural initiatives, business training, and numerous other programmes that align with the government’s objectives.
In his address to the enthusiastic audience, Prime Minister Marape shared his vision for this collaboration, stating, “Our Government recognises the invaluable contributions of the churches to the nation-building process. We firmly believe that by working hand in hand, we can achieve remarkable progress.”
The Prime Minister further announced a significant financial contribution from the government, pledging K6.5 million to facilitate the construction of a new headquarters for the PNGCC. This new facility will serve as a central hub for church-related activities across the country. A substantial part of this funding, K3.5 million, will be immediately disbursed, with the remaining balance to follow as the project progresses.
Prime Minister Marape emphasised the government’s commitment to supporting the churches, stating, “We understand that we cannot achieve our national goals alone. The work of the churches is instrumental in guiding our nation on the right path. We encourage you to continue your service to Papua New Guinea and humanity.”
In closing, he encouraged the churches to broaden their outreach, particularly in the areas of education, healthcare, youth development, FODE, small to medium enterprises (SME) programmes, distribution of coffee and cocoa seedlings, and the promotion of agriculture. He urged the churches to expand their efforts beyond the traditional weekend sermons, emphasising the need to engage with youths and communities actively.
Prime Minister Marape affirmed, “The forthcoming structure will ensure that 10% of the earnings from petroleum and mineral resources are dedicated to supporting the vital work of the churches, reaching out to our communities and inspiring positive change.”
This initiative marks a significant step towards collaborative nation-building efforts, where both government and church organisations unite their resources to create a brighter future for Papua New Guinea. The Prime Minister’s commitment underscores the importance of this partnership in advancing the nation’s well-being and development.