20 Aug 2010

Call to address needs of urban poor in Papua New Guinea

7:30 pm on 20 August 2010

A lawyer for the Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights in Papua New Guinea is calling on authorities to address the needs of those living in urban settlements, for fear urban poverty will intensify.

Gracelyn Meauri'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.

Miss Meauri says people in rural areas are flocking to towns and cities with the misconception that their livelihoods will improve.

She says many wind up living in urban settlements and the authorities must tackle the problem.

"If the services that people need are accessed at the rural level, I don't think there would be a need for them to come into town. Because some come into town for medical reasons because they can't access these facilities there for health. And they come and they stay on. And they probably don't have money to go back."

Gracelyn Meauri says lack of hygiene and increase in crime are two consequences of urban poverty.