11 Mar 2014

Better implementation of policies to combat PNG poverty needed

6:37 pm on 11 March 2014

A former Papua New Guinea politician says it will take more than just new policies to overcome poverty in the country.

The World Bank has released a report which finds 40 percent of households in Papua New Guinea live in hardship, the highest of the countries surveyed.

Dame Carol Kidu, who served as minister of community affairs in two Papua New Guinea administrations, says PNG is very complex - with 7.8 million people, a growth rate of 3.1 percent and 800 languages.

She says it already has very strong policies and legislative reform to alleviate hardship, but implementation is the real challenge.

"Sometimes not enough budgetary support for implementation, sometimes a breakdown in the implementation mechanisms. To actually address this whole issue, we have to continue strengthening a public service, increasing our internal budgets not just development partner budgets, into these areas that will address hardship and poverty."

Dame Carol Kidu says PNG needs to keep working on a social protection framework to look after the elderly, severly disabled and children at risk, as most households would have someone in that category.