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  • Ahisha Mangot

Government, Churches and Private Sector re-unite to reduce unemployment rate

Gordons, Port Moresby: The World Day of Social Justice was commemorated by the Caritas PNG on the 20th of February at the Catholic Bishops Conference.

With the theme from Pope Francis' quote “A generation without work is a future defeat for the country and for humanity.”

 

(Bishop Deputy for Caritas PNG Most Reverend Bishop Justin Ain Soongie from the Diocese of Wabag in his address)


The event was graced by the Bishop Deputy for Caritas PNG, and the Auxiliary bishop of the Wabag diocese, Bishop Justin Ain Soongie.


Joining the occasion were panelists, Senior Education Officer Liaisons from the National Youth Development Authority, Mr Lawrence Tau, and a youth representative Ms Alana Mou.

 

The celebration highlighted the issues of youth unemployment in Papua New Guinea.

 

Most reverend Bishop Justin Ain Soongie said “Statistics on Papua New Guinea indicate that, of the country’s total population of more than 8 million people, 67% are below 35 years of age and 25% are between 16 and 35 years of age. Of this, only 10% of the 80,000 young people who graduate from educational institutions annually, find employment.

 

Bishop Justin said, “The consequences of unemployment in general are widespread and detrimental to many of our citizens. Unemployment not only leads to economic hardships but also affects the livelihoods and overall wellbeing of individuals, especially those living in towns and cities.”

 

Meanwhile, the Senior Education Officer Liaisons from the National Youth Development Authority Mr Tau speaking from the government perspective when asked about their role in addressing the unemployment issue at hand stated the following:

 

“Our jurisdiction lies around the policy and legislation domain at the national level and program implementation trickles down to the subnational level, said Mr Tau.

 

He further added that the conference was informed that their programs, projects, and plans in the districts, provinces, and country are currently underway and that they have taken the center of the stage as a National Agency of the Government in delivering the policy outcome.

 

“The authorities at the sub-national, churches and NGOs must appreciate the scope of work developed by the National Youth Development Authority. Our NYDA Act and National Youth Policy synergies and align in all aspects.

 

 He also said that there are Interventions put in place such as community programs for youths, community service by youth in Arts/Music/Sewing/Fashion Design /mentoring programs and Regional Youth Games to reduce poverty. Moreover, they are collective efforts to revitalize urban and rural areas of PNG which are experiencing deep poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, illicit drugs, and law & order.

 

The way forward in addressing and minimizing the ongoing youth issues is the establishment of the District Youth Development Councils in the 96 Districts of PNG.

It will be through this channel (DYDC) that youths will be identified, registered through NID, clustered, and trained so that they can contribute to the development of all sectors of PNG's economy.

 

He concluded that the effectiveness and expediting of these DYDCs rests upon the district administration, they need to maneuver. The setback hereon is that the District Development Authority (DDA) lacks administration support, funding allocation, and sustainable programs.

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