Money for drought relief fast running out in PNG's Chimbu

7:05 am on 18 November 2015

The governor of Papua New Guinea's Chimbu province says money provided by the national government for drought relief is fast running out.

Much of the Highlands region is in the grip of a severe drought with an estimated three million people suffering from food and water shortages.

Noah Kool says about 100,000 people are affected in his province, and there is an urgent need for food because most crops have died.

He says the province's six districts have been given roughly US$700 thousand to distribute relief supplies, but that is fast running out as more people come forward seeking help.

Mr Kool says it's likely to be January before more government money reaches Chimbu and he's trying to find other ways to buy supplies.

"We've got this month and next month to go without any relief assistance so we are now looking at ways that we can help our people. My provincial government is standing by. We might use the development funds to help the people affected."

Noah Kool says with the El Niño expected to last well into next year, the government needs to swallow its pride and seek more international help.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill meets drought-stricken farmers in the Southern Highlands

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill meets drought-stricken farmers in the Southern Highlands earlier this year Photo: Supplied / PNG Prime Minister's office