Papua New Guinea
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Lae Hand Up program to expand

Member for Lae and Deputy Prime Minister, John Rosso, said since the launch of the program on June 1st, 2020, K2 million had been allocated annually until this year.

“We’ve now increased it to K4 million to cater for the capacity,” he said.

“It’s a program that assists our mothers and widows and people who are a little bit hard up. It’s a two-part program. A lot of people don’t realise that we also train them in financial literacy.

“Most of them had never had bank accounts in their lives; we’ve opened it up.

“And they don’t work every day. They work three days a week. And they work for about six to seven hours per week.”

Initially, the program was an initiative of the Lae City Authority, working with the PNG-Australia partnership and Westpac bank.

However, LCA had to partner with BSP instead, hence the women and youth who are taking part had their BSP accounts opened.

“It’s six days in a fortnight that our mothers work and it is to supplement their lives in the city,” continued Rosso.

“It helps to put food on the table and helps to pay for whatever necessities they need.

“I’m not a person who likes to give handouts so they actually work to subsidise their lives in the city.

“A lot of these mothers, we also help them with SMEs.

“We are growing the program so each suburb will be involved in the program.