8 Mar 2006

More support urged for those hungry on small PNG islands

5:09 pm on 8 March 2006

An aid agency in Bougainville says the government needs to do more to address the food shortage on four atolls north of the Papua New Guinea province.

Osi Tanata, who is linked with Oxfam New Zealand, says high tides wiped out food crops on Caterets, Nuguria, Tasman and Mortlock three weeks ago, leaving thousands hungry.

Food is being brought in by government and aid organisations.

On Caterets, the local primary school has reduced its hours as there is nothing to feed students.

And there are reports of a malaria outbreak on the atoll.

Ursula Ragova of Osi Tanata says the government's band aid approach is not working.

"Perhaps there could be some more constructive and strategic ideas of getting"

people to do some constructive work rather than being fed with food supplies all the time.

Ursula Ragova of Osi Tanata.