Emergency Highlands News

Relief Supplies Yet to Reach Numerous Affected Communities

Relief supplies are yet to reach numerous affected communities in Western, Hela, Southern Highlands and Enga provinces.

Emergency Relief Controller, Dr Bill Hamblin, said this is due to a number of issues including communication.

He added that PNG has secured a loan of 3 million US dollars from the Asian Development Bank to assist in relief efforts.

Dr Hamblin said they have presented a detailed update report to the National Executive Council (NEC) on the situation in the four affected provinces.

“One of the things we’ve said in our report is that we haven’t got enough helicopters because while we can get things to staging points, from there out if we haven’t got roads, the only option is helicopters,” Dr Hamblin said.

There are 26 care centres in Hela and Southern Highlands; supply of fresh water is their biggest challenge, as there is a threat of waterborne disease.

He said they are now in the process of identifying areas that haven’t received relief.

On a map they have, it shows areas where relief items have been distributed marked in yellow, blue and green dots. The grey dots that outnumber the colored dots are areas that relief distribution have either reached or not.

Meanwhile, Australia Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop, who arrived in the country on Tuesday (March 20) met with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to give Australia’s condolences and announce their further support of K12.5 million for long-term relief operations.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Rimbink Pato, thanked Australia for their great support.

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