9 Jun 2005

Relief for PNG volcano evacuees takes broader approach

4:22 pm on 9 June 2005

The Catholic aid agency Caritas Australia has joined the Archdiocese of Madang in Papua New Guinea to implement the Manam Island relief programme.

The Australian agency will help its local partner in monitoring the food distribution and rebuilding programme for the 11-thousand people evacuated after last year's devastating volcanic eruptions on Manam island.

The programme is now focussing on sustainability, assisting and encouraging the displaced people to become self-reliant again.

The finance manager for the Archdiocese, Sister Mary Claude, says relief has now taken a broader perspective.

"Now we're doing more things and whatever, as the different donor agencies came to our help and things began to be more permanent. Like at the beginning many of the people thought they were going to return to the island but as time went on it became evident that no, they're going to have to settle permanently where they are."

Sister Mary Claude from the Archdiocese of Madang.

Caritas Australia has allocated over 150,000 US dollars as initial support for the relief programme.