More food aid planned for PNG drought zones

1:08 pm on 5 May 2016
Oil Palm damaged by drought, Ramu Valley, Papua New Guinea, September 2015.

Oil Palm damaged by drought, Ramu Valley, Papua New Guinea, September 2015. Photo: Rebecca Robinson

The United Nations System says an estimated 160,000 people are still affected by the months of drought that have affected Papua New Guinea.

Parts of PNG has been battling flooding in recent weeks but there is still a need for relief in the wake of the drought, which lasted until March after beginning almost a year ago in some areas.

The UN's resident co-ordinator in PNG, Roy Trivedy, said data appears to show thousands still face food security issues.

He said with help from other organisations like the World Food Program and UNICEF, they would shortly start delivering food and nutrition supplies, mostly in the Highlands but also to parts of Milne Bay.

Villagers display their failed crops in the drought affected Mougulu area of PNG's Western Province.

Villagers display their failed crops in the drought affected Mougulu area of PNG's Western Province. Photo: RNZI/ Courtesy of Sally Lloyd

Mr Trivedy explained that the planned two month-long exercise aimed to help people until they could get their own crops growing.

"Our major worry is that if we don't provide that kind of support then people are going to go into the remainder of this year having been food insecure, not having enough food, then having to replant later in the year and struggling throughout that whole process," he said.