New book: Assessing food needs following a natural disaster in PNG

Papua New Guinea is vulnerable to natural disasters, including drought and frost associated with El Niño weather events and excessive rainfall associated with La Niña events. Drought, frost and excessive rainfall can cause major disruptions to village food supplies. Drought also reduces villagers’ access to clean drinking water, which in turn has a negative impact on peoples’ health and the capacity of schools and hospitals to operate. There are often other impacts — damage to crops and property by wildfires, out-migration and an increased death rate.

In 1997–98, and again in 2015–16, a major El Niño event caused significant disruption to drinking water and food supply for many Papua New Guinean villagers. Staff of many agencies, including those working through the Church Partnership Program El Niño Drought Response Program, were involved in assessing the impact and providing relief in 2015–16.

A new publication has just been launched in PNG, titled Assessing Food Needs Following a Natural Disaster in Papua New Guinea. The book reflects on some of the experiences of the Church Partnership Program El Niño Drought Response Program and serves as a guide for assessing future food shortages and to help those in need. It brings together the experiences of those working on the Church Partnership Program response to the 2015–16 El Niño event and serves as a guide for assessing future food shortages and to help those in need.

This publication was authored by Matthew Kanua, Mike Bourke, Brendan Jinks and Michael Lowe, with the support of the Church Partnership Program, Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency.

It can be downloaded free of charge here. A limited number of hard copies are available by emailing brendan.jinks@anu.edu.au.

Michael Bourke

R.M (Mike) Bourke is an Honorary Associate Professor in the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University.

Brendan Jinks

Brendan Jinks is a Research Scholar in the College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University.

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