PNG National Disaster Centre Lacks Capacity, Resources

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Acting Director: NDC will continue to coordinate relief assistance

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, March 342015) – PNG’s National Disaster Centre will continue to execute its role to coordinate relief assistance to disaster affected areas despite the low capacity it continuously face.

Acting director Martin Mose said this week that most of the provincial disaster centres were operating from less capacity in terms of funds and resources like vehicles and staff. However, he said despite that. the head office in Port Moresby is determined to continue providing much needed assistance to the country through provincial centres.

Mr Mose made this remark in the light of his office making a submission to the government for K8 million [US$2.9 million] to assist Western Highlands and Jiwaka provinces that were badly affected by flooding and landslides recently.

[PIR editor’s note: PNG Post-Courier reported that ‘Prime Minister Peter O’Neill will inspect damage caused to roads in the Highlands by recent rain, floods and landslides when he visits Mendi, Nipa and Kagua-Erave today. ... The inspection will be part of an earlier planned visit by the Prime Minister, accompanied by Southern Highlands Governor William Powi to review work underway on a series of roads in the province.’]

"Some provinces do not have the capacity by way of resources to respond to disasters, like Western Highlands who rely entirely on us the national disaster centre. A similar story would apply to Jiwaka and other provinces that lack those capacities by way of resources and logistics.

"Logistics seem to be the biggest challenge the provinces face; the provincial coordinators are under resourced to move quickly to carry out needs assessment and all that. And of course funding is the major need the centres face," he said.

Mr Mose said despite all these, the National Disaster Office and its provincial centres were determined to implement their duties to the country, especially to those affected by natural or man-made disasters.

He said PNG was a critical country in terms of disaster as more needs to be done to counter disaster challenges.

He also emphasized the need for provincial leaders and government departments to assist the disaster offices in bringing adequate support to disaster affected areas.

He said they are aware of the policies and processes in accessing funds.

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