Govt given K20mil to districts hit by earthquake, says PM

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By HELEN TARAWA
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says the Government has so far released K20 million to the districts affected by the earthquake.
“Government within days (of the earthquake) made a commitment of more than K450 million over the next three to four years which will have to fund its budget to make sure that we rebuild the infrastructure destroyed by the earthquake,” he said. “I want to give the example of the enormity of the challenge that is ahead of us. It’s not an easy task to rebuild communities and its does not require it to be politicised so that the sufferings of our people are being undermined.
“We got a report from the Hela province for the first time of the infrastructure that has been destroyed as per the assessment by experts on the ground. It amounts to well over K200 million. That is the lower end of the figures. It will take quite a substantial amount of money to rebuild and we will do it with the provinces being affected.”
He will table a report on the K59 million given by donors.
O’Neill told North Fly MP James Donald in Parliament that the district had been allocated funding too because it was affected by the earthquake.
On the K50 million funding from Ok Tedi Mining Limited to the earthquake relief fund, O’Neill said the company had corporate responsibilities to the nation and not only to Western.
“That is why in its own wisdom made this K50 million contribution. The restoration committee tells me that supplies are already reaching remote communities including Nomad (in Western).
“We are trying to ensure that relief efforts cover the entire province. We will do everything possible so that the relief supplies reach the communities.”

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