MERI programme launched through PNG-Australia Partnership

Tuesday 6 October 2020

A programme to make markets a safer place for womenfolk was officially launched yesterday by Prime Minister, James Marape.

The Markets, Economic Recovery and Inclusion (MERI) Program is designed to help make markets in PNG more compliant with PNG Government’s COVID guidelines and aims to be rolled out across the 14 major markets in PNG.

his brief but significant launching was done by  Mr  Marape and the Australian High Commissioner H.E. Jonathan Philps, at the Prime Minister’s Office, where high level officials from the Department of Community Development and the United Nations were present to witness the occasion.

In thanking the Australian Government for the important initiative, Prime Minister Marape said markets are a significant part of  the  informal sector and is mainly comprised local  womenfolk, particularly   mothers and daughters and for such initiative of assisting in making it a safer place to operate in, is a milestone for them.

The program is funded under the PNG-Australia Partnership and will help limit the spread of COVID-19 in markets and make them more inclusive.

The Australian Government through the PNG-Australia Partnership Program is said to have already spent K6 million on a program to provide hand sanitizers and make markets COVID19 free, clean, accessible to women and men vendors and buyers.

The program is successfully  running on the ground and is spearheaded by the Australian High Commission and ABT Consultancy service provider contracted to run and manage the program

Prime Minister James Marape (left) and Australian High Commissioner to PNG HE Jonathan Philps (right) during the launch yesterday (photo credit: PM’s Media Unit)

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