PNG govt announces drought relief funds process

1:40 pm on 23 October 2015

Papua New Guinea's government has reportedly approved US$60 million of District Service Improvement Programme funds to be diverted to drought relief assistance.

Papua New Guinea Highlands affected by drought.

Papua New Guinea Highlands affected by drought. Photo: Supplied

This comes as most of the country's provinces face worsening food security and water access problems due to the peaking El Nino phase.

While drought began to bite as early as July, many affected communities have complained that they are still yet to receive any relief assistance

The Post Courier reports Finance Minister James Marape as announcing that all 89 districts can each use US$ 670,000 for relief efforts - with the money to come from DSIP and provincial funds.

The government has been accused in the past of making it difficult for opposition MPs to access district funds for their constituencies.

However Mr Marape said that instruction has been issued to all provincial governments and local-level governments on the use of the relief funds to affected areas.

The government has also named seven service providers to assist with the disaster relief supplies - Dae Won Limited, Trukai Industries, Mapai Transport, Papindo Trading Limited, Homestead Limited, Best Buys Limited, and Bintangor Limited.

Additionally, Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited has offered US$ 250-thousand in drought aid to the five highlands provinces severely affected: Western Highlands, Enga, Southern Highlands, Hela and Chimbu.

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