13 May 2009

Deputy leader of opposition in PNG says people are desperate for nutritional food

1:46 pm on 13 May 2009

The Deputy leader of the opposition in Papua New Guinea says people of all ages are desperate for nutritional food.

His comments follow Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare's recent statement that the country is short on material wealth but is not lacking in food and water.

But Bart Philemon says many people who have moved to urban areas from the rural sector are going hungry because they can no longer sustain themselves on the vegetable gardens they once relied on.

"As a result young girls are involved in prostitution. Young boys of primary school age are on the streets in Moresby begging for money for food and so forth. So it's visibly evident everywhere, both Lae and Port Moresby, biggest and second biggest city."

Bart Philemon says the Prime Minister must take responsibility for educating leaders to use funding wisely to alleviate the country's problems, not just in food shortages, but in education and health.