Politicising Drought Relief in Papua New Guinea
Natural disasters invariably involve complex social, political and economic systems that can make a bad situation worse. The 2015 El Niño drought in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has few precedents. Poor strategy in response could have serious implications. Rather than a centrally coordinated national disaster response, the PNG government has decided to provide drought relief through the controversial District Services Improvement Program (DSIP), coordinated by the recently introduced District Development Authorities (DDAs). Drawing on recent fieldwork in three drought-affected districts, this In Brief considers the risks of relying on politically controlled development funds to provide drought relief to communities that need it most.
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