18 Aug 2010

PNG population researcher calls for programmes to deal with urban poor

1:57 pm on 18 August 2010

A population and development specialist in Papua New Guinea says the failure of projects to improve the livelihood of rural communities has led to rapid population growth in urban areas, causing poverty.

Dr Israel Sembajwe's comments follow the release of a book titled Urban Poverty in Papua New Guinea, which details research carried out by the National Research Institute.

Dr Sembajwe, who works for the NRI, says many rural people have moved to towns and cities expecting to find better employment, education and healthcare.

He says when their expectations aren't met they end up in urban settlements and are driven deeper into poverty.

"Men fall back on drugs and crime and then exercise violence within the communities where they live. Then you find the young people, especially the young boys also going into drugs, crime, alcohol."

Dr Israel Sembajwe says there needs to be a political commitment to efficiently implement aid programmes to tackle the problem of urban poverty.