13 May 2008

NGOs in PNG defend their role amid criticism by highland governor

1:58 pm on 13 May 2008

Overseas NGOs working in the Papua New Guinea province of Eastern Highlands say they are very concerned about statements from the Governor that their work is ineffective.

The provincial Governor Malcolm Kela Smith says highly paid international NGOs and consultants have little that's tangible to show for the donor aid money they spend.

But NGOs say they play a vital role in providing services for the region.

The country director for Save the Children in PNG, Manish Jain, says there appears to have been a communication failure.

He says the Governor may not be aware of their work but the people in rural communities are.

"We support faith based organisations providing basically 1,300 locations in Eastern Highlands where the formal education system does not even reach. And the communities in those locations are grateful for the support that they receive from Save the Children."

Mr Jain says his organisation also provides assistance towards those with disabilities.

He says the NGOs as group intend making a formal approach to the Governor to make him aware of what they do.