12 PNG Women Groups Impacted By Mining To Receive Grants
National Gov and World Bank Funds for a range small enterprises
Twelve women associations and groups in mine impacted communities in the country have been selected to receive government grants worth over K1m [$US400,000]. The associations are from Ramu Nickel Mining project area, Porgera, Hidden Valley, Simberi, Sinivit and Lihir.
The 12 are part of a total of 33 associations and groups that applied for the grants. The unsuccessful applicants will be assisted and their applications re-assed with the view to enable them to access the grants.
The grants come under the National Government’s assistance scheme called Small Grants Project (SGP) for women impacted by mining operations, funded through the World Bank Mining Sector Institutional Strengthening Technical Assistance Project 2.
The SGP is being managed by the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) with support from relevant government agencies which are departments are National Planning & Monitoring, Department of Agriculture & Livestock, Community Development, Commerce & Industry, Education, Works, Justice & Attorney General and Environment & Conservation.
The SGP is aimed at assisting associations start up small enterprises or further develop existing ones with the ultimate aim of enabling the women sustain their livelihoods beyond life of mines operating in their areas.
The successful applicants were selected based on set criteria including the capacity to sustain their projects in the long-term. All applicants were taken through the criteria in two workshops held earlier this year.
Representatives of successful associations are in Lae this week to undergo training on project management so that they can be able to properly manage the grants when they receive them.
The next stage of the SGP would be the disbursements of the grants by the MRA, implementation of the projects by the associations followed by monitoring and evaluation by the MRA.
The MRA’s Manager for Sustainability & Planning Branch Stella Brere encouraged the women to be committed to the SGP process and ensure that their enterprises are managed well once they receive the grants.
She said this project was important to the women’s livelihoods and if they managed their projects well, they could attract further assistance in the future.
A happy Ampawi Maxwell of Nauti Women’s Group of Hidden Valley Project in Bulolo District said her group plans to purchase a vehicle and operate a transport service between Lae and Nauti in Bulolo District. Her group is one of the 12 successful applicants.
The MRA’s Managing Director Philip Samar said the SGP concept was consistent with the Authority’s mission and vision which is to effectively and sustainably manage the mining sector so as to benefit all stakeholders. He said the MRA was committed to assisting the women’s groups by facilitating the SGP.