Reports stalling aid: Official

The National,Thursday June 16th, 2016

Delays in presenting financial reports on the disbursement of funds for Cyclone Ita, which hit Milne Bay in 2014, are impeding further Government assistance, provincial disaster coordinator Steven Tobesa says.
He said while most funds meant for disaster relief had been exhausted, parts of the province continued to feel the severe impacts of the drought that occured recently.
Tobesa said it would be hard to access further assistance from the Government until the financial report of cyclone expenses was presented.
He said they needed to acquit a total of K7 million in public funds, of which K1 million was given by the National Fisheries Authority and K6 million from the Government and various donors to assist the province during the impacts of Cyclone Ita.
“We are still waiting for the final report to come from a former provincial disaster employee who was tasked to compile and furnish the report to the provincial administration,” Tobesa said.
He said the provincial disaster committee planned to endorse the final report for presentation to the Government and National Disaster Centre (NDC) but was delayed after the former employee concerned sought a further two-week extension in order to complete the task.
“We need to get this report out of the way so we can access Government funding for drought-affected areas in parts of Kiriwina-Goodenough and Samarai-Murua,” Tobesa said.
He said 90 per cent of the funds were put toward infrastructure rehabilitation and food relief efforts for areas affected by Cyclone Ita, and 10 per cent went toward the drought relief exercise.
However, Tobesa said most of the funds for the exercise had been exhausted so it was vital that the financial report for Cyclone Ita was presented to the Government quickly.
NDC acting director Martin Mose said funding to drought-affected areas would only be released on presentation of reports.