29 Jul 2002

Pope sends money for Papuan refugees in Vanimo

4:13 pm on 29 July 2002

The Vatican has given the Diocese of Vanimo 10-thousand US dollars towards the cost of helping the hundreds of Papuans who left Indonesia nearly two years ago to get asylum in Papua New Guinea.

The money was sent by the Pope as a contribution for the humanitarian programme run by the diocese for the so-called bordercrossers who arrived in Vanimo in late 2000.

The PNG government is yet to reply to their asylum applications but has held discussions with the Indonesian authorities who want the Papuans repatriated.

The Catholic church says it has spent 100-thousand US dollars on supporting the refugees and incurred a debt of more than 20-thousand dollars in doing so.