Thursday 22 June, 2023

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has extended an invitation to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to collaborate with areas affected by armed conflict hotspots.

The goal is to reduce armed conflicts and alter how problems are addressed and resolved within impacted communities.

The offer was issued by Prime Minister Marape at a briefing with His Excellency Georgia Georgantas, Head of Mission for the ICRC in PNG.

Mr. Georgantas explained that  ICRC’s  area of interest in the nation, is focused on  aiding individuals impacted by tribal strife, adding, the  hotspots for violence have been discovered, notably in the Highlands area.

“In the case of a battle, ICRC evaluate the deaths and damage before offering the appropriate help,” he said.

“The ICRC works on several fronts and has offices in Port Moresby, Mt. Hagen, and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.”

“While the team in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville works in the recovery of missing people from the Special Region, the Mt. Hagen office provides assistance to vulnerable individuals impacted by tribal disputes.”

Mr. Georgantas added that in order for the organization to grow and receive more support, Parliament’s recognition and confirmation of the organization are essential.

PM Marape expressed appreciation for the ICRC’s efforts in the nation and issued an invitation to districts and churches to work together.

He emphasized the need of collaborating with churches and the necessity to get rid of political meddling in order to provide individuals affected by armed conflict with meaningful aid.

Additionally, the Prime Minister also requested   ICRC to  establish offices in his region.

As the sole service centre in Hela Province, his Tari-Pori electorate attracts individuals affected by tribal tensions from other provinces seeking services like policing and healthcare.

Prime Minister Marape also suggested using the Hope Institute, which assists victims of violence and their children, as a platform for cooperation with churches and the ICRC in Hela.

He also emphasized the need for  giving assistance and funding for crucial counseling services in order to address the long-lasting trauma faced by people who are impacted by tribal disputes.

These programs would concentrate on helping people survive armed conflicts and ease their reintegration back into society.

PM Marape thanked the ICRC for their assistance  and informed Mr. Georgantas that he would personally submit their letter for confirmation to the Parliament during the session in August 2023.

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