Government must increase funding to support programs

The Government of Papua New Guinea must increase domestic funding to support church programs delivered to addressing the root cause of gender violence and HIV/ Aids transmission.

This was stressed yesterday by Cardinal Sir John Ribat at the opening of the first ever HIV Summit for PNG Christian Leaders Alliance on HIV and AIDS at the Stanley Hotel.

Cardinal Ribat said the PNG Christian Leaders Alliance on HIV and AIDS is an association of heads of churches who have joined forces to demonstrate their leadership support and commitment towards addressing root causes of HIV.

“This includes other related issues or cross cutting issues in PNG,” he said.

Formed in 2010, PNGCLA plays a significant part and supporting role as one of the coordinating arms of the National Aids Council responsible for coordination of all HIV related activities implemented by churches.

Cardinal Ribat said the Department of Community Development, Religion and Youth must be seen to be effectively communicating and coordinating activities with the faith based organizations in terms of addressing gender based violence.

He adds that if the government is serious about addressing gender based violence in the country, the government must work with recognised church organisations like PNG Christian Leaders Alliance on HIV and AIDS and those also working with them in the coordination and implementation of the projects and programs.

“As the chairman of the PNGCLA on HIV and AIDS, I also take this time to thank our valuable partners like the National Aids Council Secretariat, UNAids for providing the capacity support to our secretariat and most importantly; the office of the Prime Minister and the National Executive Council (NEC), National Gaming Control Board as well as the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs for making funds available to stage this national historical event.”

Annette Kora