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UN announces K3 million COVID-19 Funds for PNG's Western Province

Development partners have continued to support PNG's governments both national and provincial to boost COVID-19 response in the country.
This week, the United Nations and the Western Provincial Government have announced a US$1 million or about K3 million program to support the province’s COVID-19 response in border communities in North Fly District.
International Organisation for Migration or IOM, UNFPA, and UNICEF will work with the Western Provincial Government, including the Western Provincial Health Authority, the North Fly District, the Catholic Diocese of Daru, and Kiunga, and other national and local partners.
The funding will assist these partners in addressing needs for water and sanitation, nutrition, and maternal and neonatal health as part of their ongoing COVID response.
In announcing the funding, UN Resident Coordinator Gianluca Rampolla acknowledged the unique challenges faced by the response team in Western Province.
Mr. Rampolla said with lockdowns and the government's focus on protecting its people, the UN also wants to assist in making sure access to basic services, including nutritious food and maternal services is scaled up.
He said, there is also a critical need to rapidly improve access to clean water and sanitation.
Provincial Administrator Robert Alphonse Kaiyun when welcoming the announcement, stressed the need to strengthen partnerships that would enable the Provincial Government to improve services for the people that live in a vast and challenging part of the province.
Western Province remains one of the most-at-risk regions of Papua New Guinea with respect to COVID-19. The frequency of movement across the border with Indonesia has been a cause for concern at the provincial and national levels.
The announcement was made during the UN Resident Coordinator’s first visit to Western Province where he was joined by IOM Country Representative Lance Bonneau and UN Humanitarian Coordination Specialist Richard Higgins.

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