Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop launched an Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Papua New Guinea (PNG) community empowerment project in the Kavieng District, New Ireland Province, on March 21, 2018. The ADRA-managed Inclusive Community Empowerment Project (ICEMP) will provide a clean water supply, greater resilience to climate change, and improved adult literacy for more than 12,000 people in the area.
The event was significant as it was the first time that a PNG Incentive Fund project is officially launched in the country by an Australian Federal Minister. The Incentive Fund provides grants to high-performing organizations to improve service delivery and provide economic opportunities for the people of PNG. It is funded by the Australian Government.
The official launch included the signing of the project agreement by Australian High Commissioner to PNG Bruce Davis, and ADRA PNG Board chairman and Papua New Guinea Union Mission president Kepsie Elodo.
Bishop was welcomed with a traditional New Ireland “Sing-sing” dance and met with recipients of the project. She acknowledged the work of ADRA — the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church — in PNG and expressed her passion for seeing more women and girls empowered in communities in Kavieng District, with improved opportunities for learning and sustainable livelihoods.
ICEMP is a 30-month project that was developed closely with representatives of the local community, who identified key issues affecting the livelihoods of their villages, particularly for women and girls, including water and sanitation, literacy, and climate change. Communities also proposed the integration of leadership and governance programs to promote more women into leadership roles with the goal of improving household income levels.
ADRA PNG acknowledged the support of the Australian Government, which provided a 3.7 million PNG kinas grant to the project (about 1.14 million US dollars). ADRA PNG is also grateful for the support of ADRA Australia in providing match funding and program effectiveness support.
ADRA PNG is part of ADRA International, which delivers relief and development assistance to individuals through an international network with presence in more than 130 countries, regardless of their ethnicity, political affiliation, or religious association. By partnering with communities, organizations, and governments, ADRA is able to improve the quality of life of millions through disaster response, community health, livelihood and agriculture, social justice, and other impact areas.