18 Nov 2015

Desperate need for food in drought-hit PNG Highlands

8:36 pm on 18 November 2015

The Red Cross in Papua New Guinea says drought-resistant crops and food supplies are desperately needed in the drought-affected Highlands.

Several provinces are in the grip of a severe drought as a result of the current El Niño system affecting much of the Pacific.

The secretary general of the PNG Red Cross, Allison Dage, says an estimated three million people are suffering from food and water shortages caused by the worst drought in decades.

She says most people in the Highlands rely on their own crops and there is a desperate need for food.

"We need some drought-resistant seed. People in the country are subsistence farmers which means they rely every year on growing their own food. The region is usually high with rainfall so when they don't have much rain it does really affect them."