U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supported over 115 women from mining impacted communities in Ramu District Madang Province, Papua New Guinea, to access financial literacy training.
From February to April 2023, Erusta Bill, a certified local trainer under the USAID’s partnership with the Center for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI), conducted training mostly for women in the basics of financial literacy.
Participants now have a better understanding on savings and budgeting; foundational skills for creating new enterprises and increasing household and personal financial security, particularly for women.
The training will also promote a savings culture and help improve management of household finances to sustain livelihoods both during and after the life of the mining project.
One of the greatest challenges for many communities in PNG, especially those based in rural and remote areas, is the poor access to services such as banking.
Banking provides an option to save money in a secure place for future use or to access financial credit to grow small-scale businesses and expand livelihood option.
On June 2, 2023 participants for the training were awarded with certificates.
The certificates will enable participants to meet banking requirements, to opening new bank accounts and to apply for SME loans. The participants will now utilize their certificates to obtain loans under the Mineral Resources Authority Credit Scheme for mining impacted communities with emphases on women participation.
Doras Paul, a graduate of the financial literacy training thanked USAID stating, “I can now open a bank account with Mibank and access my credit scheme.”
Erusta Bill, the Chairlady of Maigari Women’s Association, reiterated this sentiment saying, “Our mothers have been spending their royalty payments without saving any for their children and family.”
“Now, thanks to USAID PNG LGP, they understand the importance of saving and budgeting their money.”
The training is part of USAID’s commitment through the PNG Lukautim Graun Program (LGP) to deliver financial literacy for Papua New Guineans and focuses on the economic empowerment of people from areas of high biodiversity or resource rich areas, particularly women.
USAID’s PNG LGP works in partnership with the PNG Government, local communities, and a range of implementing partners from the private sector, faith-based organizations and civil society organizations to empower traditional landowners to sustainably manage their resources and empower women to be full participants in PNG’s economy.
Improving people’s livelihood prospects helps communities to reduce pressure on forest resources and contribute to protecting PNG’s rich biodiversity for future generations.