PORT MORESBY, 31 AUGUST 2017 (POST COURIER) — Save the children, Head of Policy and Advocacy, Majella Hurney is warning that terrible rates of childhood malnutrition could cripple Papua New Guinea’s future economic growth.

Almost half of Papua New Guinea’s children suffer from under nutrition, due to insufficient food intake or disease. She is urging aid donors like Australia to address the problem if they actually want to help PNG develop.


“The Government of Papua New Guinea is taking positive steps to improve child nutrition, but it cannot tackle a challenge of this scale alone,” said Majella Hurney at the National Nutrition Strategic Action Plan Workshop at Holiday Inn, Port Moresby.

She is calling for support from other international donors to reallocate funds to fight this cause.

“There is an urgent need for donors, such as Australia, to reallocate technical and financial assistance to support targeted interventions to improve child nutrition,” Ms Hurney said.

Child malnutrition does not only affect the individual and families, it also has a negative impact on the country’s economy and productivity. It costs the country’s economy 1.5 million US Dollars annually.

“Our report shows that nutrition interventions have comparatively high economic and social returns on investment. It is critical to invest in human development as a foundation for inclusive and sustainable economic development. Otherwise, malnutrition will continue to undermine the great human and economic potential of Papua New Guinea.”.PACNEWS [/restrict]