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Old 17-03-2003, 08:30 AM
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Papua New Guinea On the Brink - Susan Windybank and Mike Manning

Papua New Guinea (PNG) shows every sign of following its Melanesian neighbour, the Solomon Islands, the path to economic paralysis, government collapse and social despair.

For most of PNG’s five million people, living conditions have barely improved since independence. Windfall mining revenues and generous levels of aid have subsidised a small political elite at the expense of investment in roads, education and health. Deficit financing and government borrowing for unproductive spending have left little money for key state institutions such as the police, legal system and armed forces. Violent crime rates are soaring, law and order have broken down, and PNG cannot effectively monitor and defend its land and sea borders.

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