PNG's K3.2m child protection project mysteriously stopped

The government’s child protection effort that commenced in 2017 has derailed less than a year into its operation.

According to 2018 Budget books, the Child Protection project under the Integrated Community Development Scheme of the Department of Community Development has ceased operations for lack of funds.

Tabled in the ‘2018 Budget estimates of Revenue and Expenditure’ which was released during the 2017 November Budget session, K3.2 million was afforded to a mysterious child protection project.

Efforts to find traces of tangible outcomes of this multimillion kina child protection project were in vain, but it was gleaned from the expenditure report that the sole project was funded by a donor agency in collaboration with the government.

It was confirmed that the Australian Agency for International Development provided funds for this ad hoc project that tackled a rather vital societal issue but that funding ceased due to the lack of government drive.

While the now discontinued child protection project was a foreign intuitive both financially and operationally, it would seem the government of the day did not take heed of community deficiency indicators to do with childcare and protection.

The Asian Development Bank’s Aaron Mathews said recently while commenting on child protection in the country that security starts with ensuring youngsters and children are safe.

“It is not only logical but practically proven that the foundation of dealing with security in any capacity is by first having a decent enforcement entity.

“You have that in the RPNGC, your Defence Force and relating enforcement authorities.

“All the country needs to do is back such initiatives like the child protection project that is now unfunded and abandoned as these are societal gaps that analysts have identified as potholes that need to be filled,” explained Mr Matthews.

He said that the reported closure of the child protection project was disheartening because it meant not only that issues to do with child security would now be neglected, but that any attempt to resurrect the project would mean a total reset of outcomes if any. Post Courier

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