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Caritas PNG Launches SEFO 2019 Report

-       Nigel Akuani


Port Moresby: The Caritas State of the Environment for Oceania (SEFO) 2019 report series, highlights the five main issues currently monitored that were affecting the livelihood of inhabitants on smaller island nations in the Oceania Region.


The report was launched by a panel of experts on Friday 4th October during the FM100 Talk-Back Show in Boroko..


The panellists were Ms Marie Mondu Development Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference, Mavis Tito National Director of Caritas PNG, Agnes Harihi Executive Member of the Catholic Professionals Society, and Nigel Akuani Social Communications Officer of the Catholic Bishops Conference.


According to Ms Mondu assistance in terms of funding to lessen environmental effects is given, however, she admitted that the bulk of the funds usually go missing during operation. “The main challenge is to account for the money used as most of the amount gets lost through the operation,” she said.


She added, “To apply for funding it has to be done through Grant Schemes, where the funds are now held with loan banks which means they are no longer easily accessible.”


She highlighted the role of Caritas and said it was an agency that the Catholic Church looked at when implementing development projects. “It is a mandate that all Catholic Bishops Conferences must have a Caritas Commission. It is through our faithful Catholic Communities’ help and support that we are able in fund development projects,” she said.


Ms Tito explained that it was challenging gathering the necessary information for the report since it focuses on five thematic areas. She said due to the limited supplies and resources they were not able to respond quickly and effectively to those five areas.


She stated “People’s lives are heavily impacted by climate change due to the constantly changing weather patterns. Caritas organizations around Oceania collect and store this information to be later presented at the next SEFO report.”


Mrs Harihi urged every person to become partners and work together to battle the effects of climate change. She thanked FM100 for the opportunity to be the voice of the voiceless particularly those in the smaller neighboring island countries.


Mr Akuani stressed the importance of youth engagement and said they had an enormous potential to make a significant contribution to reducing climate change. “The bulk of the country’s population is comprised of youths. If given an opportunity and encouragements, they could cause great change for the better,” he said.


The SEFO report revolves around the 5 main areas: rising seas and coastal erosion, extreme weather, access to safe local food and water, offshore mining and drilling, and climate finance. It outlines budgets, statistics, case-studies, challenges currently facing Caritas in Oceania and the progress it has made so far in utilizing the funds and resources at its disposal for planned development programs.

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