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PNG earthquake relief funds rises above K105m
4:54 pm GMT+12, 13/03/2018, Papua New Guinea

Funding commitment towards relief efforts for the earthquake stricken areas has exceeded K105 million (US$32.8 million) and continues to build up. That is according to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
 
Prime Minister gave an update on the relief supplies and other efforts reaching the earth quake stricken areas.
 
Prime Minister O’Neill said the government’s commitment has exceeded K100 million (US$31 million) whilst K5 million (US$1.5 million) has come from the private sector.
 
“We are starting to reach many of the remote communities, confirming the disasters that have taken place and supplying medicine and food to remote communities,” he said.
 
The Prime Minister also said district development authorities are being funded to help areas that are not accessible and that is also going quite well.
 
He said MPs and district chief executive officers are working around the clock to mobilise supplies, in particular medicines and getting the injured and the sick out of the affected areas.
 
He has also given an undertaking that arrangements are being made for affected students to complete their academic studies in other schools. With regard to Mendi School of Nursing, an assessment will determine whether the school can be rebuilt for students to return for classes or be transferred to other colleges.
 
“In the next few days or weeks, the waterborne diseases will affect the affected population and areas, we have to lift our presence in medical support,” he said.
 
He also announced that the Australian Doctors are being brought in to assist alongside PNG medical specialists.
 
O’Neill thanked individuals, business communities and donor agencies and government that have come in to support in relief efforts and medicinal supplies. He also noted that the significant amount of money that is being used through a trust account and managed by the Finance Department to disperse, especially to buy food.
 
He also thanked the Works Department for clearing out roads and making them accessible.
 
He also thanked the PNGDF, and assistance from Australian and New Zealand defence forces in dispersing suppliers using helicopters.
 
“The efforts by Oil Search and ExxonMobil cannot be mistaken. It is by far a huge support from the two organisations in making sure we attend to the needs of our people on a timely basis. Slowly we are able to attend to most needy,” he said.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS


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