A second wave of COVID-19 cases in Papua New Guinea is creating havoc across the country. In the last week, up to June 1, there have been 103 new cases. Most of these cases are from the Highlands which include the dioceses of Mendi, Wabag, Mt Hagen, Kundiawa and Goroka. The total number of COVID-19 related deaths across PNG is 162.

The Australian government has so far sent 140,000 Covid-19 vaccines and a nationwide vaccination campaign is underway. The situation is especially critical in the rural and remote parts if the country

At the start of the pandemic last year, Fr. Victor Roche SVD, Secretary for New Evangelization and Pontifical Mission Societies in Papua New Guinea reached out to Catholic Mission, fearing the disease would spread fast in these parts, due to the country’s communal society.

Catholic Mission provided funds then for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other vital materials, such as face masks and hand sanitiser, for urgent distribution to protect rural and remote communities against further infection. Extra resources have since been provided at the request of Fr Victor.

Catholic Mission is committed to standing in solidarity with our friends, partners, and people in need around the globe. We also continue to other our prayers and thoughts to people suffering from this across the world.

National Director of Catholic Mission, Fr Brian Lucas, acknowledged the support that other Catholic charities in Australia are providing for PNG.

“Catholic Mission will continue to liaise with the Pontifical Mission Societies in PNG and provide such assistance as the national director Fr Victor Roche requests,” he says.

Pope Francis has appealed for a global coronavirus recovery plan, in a letter published by the Vatican.

“Our world has been forced to confront a series of grave and interrelated socio-economic, ecological, and political crises.”

“It is my hope that your discussions will contribute to a model of ‘recovery’ capable of generating new, more inclusive and sustainable solutions to support the real economy, assisting individuals and communities to achieve their deepest aspirations and the universal common good. “

“The notion of recovery cannot be content to a return to an unequal and unsustainable model of economic and social life, where a tiny minority of the world’s population owns half of its wealth."