The National Capital District Commission is open for discussions with the Australian Government to build a new market at the Boroko Central Business District, Deputy City Manager Ravu Frank says.
Market is part of the people’s culture and that this potential has to be harnessed with building more market spaces for them, he said.
The National Government and NCDC are on the same page in making sure the economic empowerment of women and girls continues to become a priority in addressing socio-economic issues, said Mr Frank.
He stressed that many unemployed residents rely heavily on market spaces to meet their basic needs.
MR Ravu was speaking at Gordons on Thursday (10, December 2020) at a small yet an important occasion where the Australian High Commission was presenting keys belonging to a container of Covid-19 equipment and prevention tools.
“We have built many markets in the city but the demand for market space is still very high. People vending outside the Gordons open space is a testament. Our people vending under the trees, along the road sides which are not safe and need for new market is very crucial. This is the main source of income for unemployed men and women to raise their family.”
Ravu flagged that significant attention of the Australian Government be given to the market sector.
He used the occasion to thank the Australian High Commission for the partnership in recognizing the importance of empowering women and girls economically.
Ms Amanda Young, who is the Australian High Commission’s First Secretary responsible for subnational governments, said out of 12 markets nationwide, three markets in NCD were fortunate to be included in its Market Economic Recovery Inclusion (MERI) Program.
Ms Young said the MERI program is aimed at helping local authorities minimizing the spread of COVID-19 at market places.
It is also extended to help improve governance of market, building capacity, training and economic empowerment.
“This is important as markets play important role in the community. We are happy to work with NCDC and corporates with UN women, Department of Community Development and other partners and, make the market places safe and clean for all.
“Right across PNG, women comprise of most market vendors and users so pretty cool we listen to their voices and support them to remain safe. Without markets, an income will be cut for the many who depend on it so it’s vital that markets continue to operate during this national pandemic,” Young said.
NCDC Market Manager Charlie Pengi also thanked the Australian High Commission for their timely support towards making market spaces in the city much safer in light of Covid-19 threat and accessible to women.