Undialu queries funds allocation for quake


THE Hela government wants the Government to explain why no funds were allocated in the 2019 budget for the victims of last February’s earthquake.
Hela Governor Philip Undialu said despite the announcement by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill of a K450 million allocation to rebuild Hela, Enga, Southern Highlands, Western, parts of Gulf and West Sepik affected by the disaster, there was no allocation in the budget.
The provincial executive council in its final meeting of 2018 last month summoned Dr Bill Hamblin, the Emergency and Disaster Controller, to explain how the K70mil earthquake disaster fund was spent.
O’Neill could not be reached for a comment yesterday.
National Planning Minister Richard Maru directed questions to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Abel said there was a US$50 million (K150mil) funding available as a World Bank support loan. Undialu said the provinces needed an explanation.
“Where is the K450mil promised during PM’s visits to the disaster zones? Treasurer Abel has also promised to make available US$50mil from World Bank.”