6 May 2009

PNG PM rejects poverty claims

3:57 pm on 6 May 2009

The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, has reiterated his claim that no Papua New Guinean is starving or dying of hunger.

The Post Courier reports the Prime Minister as saying it's true people in rural areas lack material wealth but they are not short of food and water.

However, his Community Development Minister, Dame Carol Kidu, has said on numerous occasions that in her South Moresby electorate many people go without food and are hungry.

In a statement, Sir Michael says MPs are basically policy makers and not implementers.

He says it is the job of the councillor and the public servants to ensure that the support given by government gets through to the people who need it.

Sir Michael says those who choose to work and live in major towns and cities make up less than 20 per cent of the population.

He says more than 80 per cent live in rural areas where there is ample land and other resources to grow food.