K113m from stimulus package for agriculture, food security

“This agriculture and food security funding, the biggest element of our K600 million in direct budget funding support on COVID-19, recognises the fact that agriculture underpins the livelihoods of most Papua New Guineans,” Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey said. “Over 85 percent of the population depends on subsistence agriculture for consumption and cash cropping for income.

“COVID-19 is a tricky, hidden enemy. Good decisions by the government have helped protect PNG. But there is still great uncertainty, and the experts are telling us that we must stay alert.

Additional K8m for COVID-19 response

Made available through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), this brings the total U.S. government assistance to nearly K12 million ($3.5 million). 

USAID awarded K6 million (USD $1.75 million) to FHI360 to support clinics in the National Capital District, building capacity on infection prevention and control, supporting facilities, expanding testing capacity, establishing response teams, upgrading WASH facilities and facilitating contact tracing.

LATAM becomes largest airline so far to be pushed to bankruptcy by COVID-19

The filing highlights the financial weakness of South America's carriers, following a similar bankruptcy earlier this month by the region's second largest airline, Avianca.

But unlike Avianca, which experienced management turmoil and losses, Chile's LATAM posted profits for the last four consecutive years totaling more than US$700 million. LATAM had also approved a dividend payment this year, in contrast to other carriers that have halted payouts.

WHO suspends trials of hydroxychloroquine

Trials in several countries are being "temporarily" suspended as a precaution.

It comes after a recent medical study suggested the drug could increase the risk of patients dying from Covid-19.

US President Donald Trump has promoted the anti-malarial drug, despite warnings from public health officials that it could cause heart problems in Covid-19 patients.

Trump also said he was taking the drug himself to ward off the virus, but said in Sunday he was not taking it any more.



43 PNGDF personnel cleared from isolation

The group arrived on Wednesday and were in isolation at the PNGDF isolation facility at Camp Aruma in Taurama.

They are the 11 Platoon for Delta Company from the 1st Battalion Royal Pacific Islands Regiment.

They were deployed in April to boost the number of troops along the PNG-Indonesian border in the whole of nation approach to stop illegal border crossers.

PNGDF COVID-19 Task Force Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Raphael Yapu, during the meeting with the group, commended them for their efforts.

UNDP to determine COVID-19 impact

Mapping these impacts will take time and require collective and collaborative efforts involving Government, development partners, civil society and the private sector. An important first step will be determining what these impacts are.

UNDP says it is proudly leading this first step in partnership with other United Nations agencies by launching the first Socio-Economic Impact Assessment to be conducted in Papua New Guinea aimed at determining the impacts of COVID-19.


Time for learning: Treasurer

Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey made this statement following his meeting on Wednesday (May 20) with former Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare.

“I was honoured to have a really good discussion with our founding father and Grand Chief Michael Somare, PNG’s longest serving Prime Minister. We had a long meeting talking about the challenges of good governance, including through demanding times,” stated Ling-Stuckey.

“The COVID-19 Crisis is clearly one of the most demanding times in our history. I want to learn lessons from our past so we can best protect our future.

US$1m to support province’s COVID-19 response

IOM, UNFPA and UNICEF will work with the Western Provincial Government, including the Western Provincial Health Authority, the North Fly District Government, the Catholic Diocese of Daru and Kiunga, and other national and local partners. The funding will assist these partners in addressing needs for water and sanitation, nutrition and maternal and neonatal health as part of their ongoing COVID-19 response.

In announcing the funding, UN Resident Coordinator, Gianluca Rampolla, acknowledged the unique challenges faced by the response team in Western Province.

Warning issued to citizens under quarantine

Manning said this following reports of citizens not taking heed of the control measures put in place.

“I must warn citizens that are coming into the country that the 14-day quarantine period and the protocols in place under the SOE are non-negotiable. Everyone must complete the 14-day quarantine period and must be cleared by a designated medical officer before leaving the quarantine facility,” Manning stressed.

Trump says US topping world virus cases is 'badge of honour'


"I look at that as, in a certain respect, as being a good thing because it means our testing is much better," he said at the White House.

The US has 1.5 million coronavirus cases and nearly 92,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In second place is Russia, with nearly 300,000 confirmed cases.

What did Trump say?

On Monday, Mr Trump was hosting his first cabinet meeting since the US outbreak began.