• PNG Business News

Lae workers to get relief from Covid-19 initiative

Workers in Lae city, its surrounding six wards and the Ahi Local Level Government (LLG) impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic can expect some relief with the signing and official launch of the Lae Hand-Up Program.

Expected to last for a few months until normalcy and some form of job security returns, the program is a partnership between LCA and the Australian Consulate-General in Lae (ACG) as part of the Papua New Guinea - Australia Partnership Program through Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

It will provide cash-for-work support to those impacted by the Covid-19 induced state of emergency lockdown that had reportedly seen about 30 per cent of workers in the industrial city laid off.

The initiative was officially launched on June 1st following a signing ceremony held during the end of May between Australian Consul-General to Lae Mr Paul Murphy and LCA Chief Executive Officer Mr Neil Ellery for the establishment of the Lae Hand Up Program.

The initiative gives an opportunity to those impacted by the pandemic to get back some form of work to sustain their livelihood.

It covers community based work for social benefit that will be provided to those that are impacted or directly affected by Covid-19 induced lockdown. Those identified will be registered to do such work as landscaping, cleaning, drainage and other work around the city to get paid cash.

It is understood that the first 40 people have been screened and identified for the program.

The Program is supported by the PNG Australia Governance Partnership Program, Grow PNG, the Morobe Provincial Government, as well as various organizations such as Westpac PNG, Friends of the Garden City of Lae and the Lae Chamber of Commerce Incorporated (LCCI)

It is understood the program is designed for a longer term post Covid-19, where wards in Lae can submit community projects to help keep the city clean and beautiful by doing work around the city.

Registration pathways are through the LCA for communities, churches, wards and others while the Lae Chamber of Commerce & Industry will cater to the business community.

Flyers and information packs have been created and available through the LCA, LCCI, DFAT and partners.

No payment is required to register for the program while the use of agents is prohibited, but there are certain criteria that must be met for eligibility.

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