Women bank on EU programme

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 16th April 2013

 A DELEGATION from the European Union (EU) visited the village women’s banking programme at Kiapuga in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands, last weekend.

EU ambassador to PNG Martin Dihm led the team to see how their K225,000 funded village women banking projects were progressing.

The programme, which started in January 2009, has helped many women in the province to have access to financial services and get involved in the small-scale business.

A total of 1,200 women are members of the programme. Of that 853 are active members and a total of K1 million have been given out to women who have applied for loans.

The three-year programme ended in 2011 but EU  returned to make sure they did not stop but kept moving in order to help more unfortunate women to live independently.

Dihm commended the women, church groups, members and programme director Joseph Puma for their efforts.

“We are helping you means that the European Union is supporting the government of PNG..

“European Union has a vision to support disadvantage women who are back at home so they can access loans and involved in the small scale business activities,” he said.

Plans are underway to legalise the programme so it could become a financial institution in June this year.