No data on poverty, equality in PNG: Report

The National, Monday July 11th, 2016

There is no current data on poverty and equality in the country, according the third summary report on the UN Millennium Development Goals 2015.
First assistant secretary for the Department of National Planning Christine Aisoli in presenting the report in Port Moresby last Thursday, said PNG could not measure poverty in terms of the proportion of the population having US$1 per day because there was no current data on poverty.
“Without the official data to inform PNG on what the level of poverty was, our two reports that were drafted and presented to the UN in 2004 and 2009 described poverty as poverty of opportunity,” Aisoli said.
“We looked at indicators, social indicators like the life expectancy, the labour force structure, infant child mortality and literacy levels. Those were indirect indicators to PNG to know the situation of the population being poor.”
Minister for National Planning Charles Abel said the PNG Poverty Profile Report came from the household income and expenditure survey 2009 to 2010.
“We are already six years late…and that’s one of the underlying issues,” Abel said.
“It’s the timeline, how slow we are in producing these reports, when they do come out, much of this information is out of date.
“They (reports) say 40 per cent of our households are living below the poverty line. Let’s acknowledge that, let’s have the reports. In some ways it’s rather a paradox we present this reality and at the other end of the spectrum we present our dreams and aspirations. It’s a challenge before us. How do we marry this two up?”
Aisoli said the third report for the Millennium Development Goals 2015 followed on from the first report.