Parts of country facing food shortage

The National,Thursday June 23rd, 2016

CERTAIN parts of the country are still facing food shortage months after the drought hit the country, according to Dr Mike Bourke of the Australian National University.
He told The National yesterday that this was particularly true in parts of Western and Milne Bay.
“The drought is well and truly over. All over Papua New Guinea, it’s been raining,” Bourke said.
He is a technical adviser for the church partnership programme.
He said people in parts of Western, especially in the Nomad Local Level Government, still faced food shortage.
“This has been going on for almost a year now, and also down in Morehead.
“Food is also short in Milne Bay, particularly in many small atolls and small islands, and also in the north coast towards Rabaraba.”
He said the high-altitude areas badly hit last July by frost included Kandep and Upper Lagaip Valley in Enga, and across the provincial border into Hela.
“Food is still scarce. Food distribution is going on as we speak.”
Bourke said international organisations such as the World Food Programme and CARE were involved in food distribution.
“Even now in 2016, the impact of food shortage is still happening,” he said.
“A limited number of areas, but we are talking about 250,000 to 300,000 people.
“There are about 80,000 people in Milne Bay and there are maybe 40,000 people in Western. The numbers are reasonably large.”
Dr Bourke said things would get better soon.
“Our understanding is that by September, this will be all over. But that’s three months away and still a long time to be short of food,” he said.