History of Papua New Guinea|
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 02:18:39 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>
Subject: AID/WATCH Appeal on PNG SAP
/** dev.worldbank: 278.0 **/
** Topic: AID/WATCH Appeal on PNG SAP **
** Written 11:42 AM Oct 27, 1995 by patrickirn in cdp:dev.worldbank **
From: Patrick McCully <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 95 09:30:35 GMT
From: The Ecologist <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Please Support PNG Group's Challenging the World Bank's Structural Adjustment
From the Ecologist,
27 October 1995
The Papua New Guinean National Coalition for Socio-Economic Justice is
challenging the structural adjustment programme the PNG government has
recently concluded with the World Bank in order to gain more aid money
from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Australia, Japan, Germany,
France and New Zealand.
The Coalition comprises thirty-five organisations which have held major
protests against the SAP and prepared an alternative adjustment
programme which would raise money without endangering PNG's health,
education, workers' rights etc.
SEE background information at end of alert for more details.
** Please print out the appeal, sign it and send it to AID/WATCH in the
next few days: the PNG budget session starts on 5 November.
AID/WATCH's fax number is + 61 2 264 6092.
** Please also write directly to your country's representative at the World
Bank, 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington DC 20433, USA, and to one or more
of the following key PNG politicians and officials, expressing your concern
and asking that the SAP be renegotiated after full consultation with PNG
Hon Chris Haiveta, Finance Minister, Fax: + 675 288 433
Hon Masket Iangalio, Shadow Minister of Finance and Planning,
Fax: + 675 3277753
Kila Ai, Deputy Secretary (Policy and Planning), Dept. of Finance,
Fax: +675 288 495
Hon Bernard Narakobi, MP, Fax: +675 327 7753
Appeal for a people's budget in Papua New Guinea
To members of the parliament of Papua New Guinea.
We, the undersigned organisations wish to voice our concerns about the
World Bank's Structural Adjustment Program and its impacts on both the
people and the environment of PNG. We beseech you to listen to your
people and respond to their demands.
We recognise the necessity for stringent measures to resolve the financial
crisis facing PNG. However, we are concerned that the current Structural
Adjustment Program for PNG and the proposed 1996 budget, will further
impoverish the people and will not address the fundamental problems
facing PNG. The SAP relies on the unsustainable exploitation of PNG's
mineral resources to fuel its development, rather than strengthening local
industry and promoting self-sufficiency.
We support the PNG people in calling for development that is ecologically
sustainable, locally-based, and which promotes human rights. In order for
this to occur, it is imperative that the PNG people are involved in their own
We believe that the proposed 1996 budget will further entrench key aspects
of the World Bank SAP which will be detrimental to the people of PNG. We
call on you, as elected representatives, to bring down a budget that meets
the needs of the majority of the people in your country. We strongly urge
that urgent consideration is given to the following points:
- 1. Imposition of greater fees for hospital and tertiary education services.
Access to adequate health care and education are fundamental human rights
that must be respected by the PNG Government. We urge the government
to establish a national system of free, efficient, accessible and well-resourced
rural and urban health centres. We further urge that the government
ensures that education at all levels is given priority in the allocation of
funding, and that tertiary education remains accessible to all Papua New
2. Trade liberalisation measures, including removal of restrictions on foreign
investment, and abolition of price controls on basic foodstuffs. These
measures benefit foreign corporations and increase the cost of living for an
already struggling population. The International Monetary Fund itself has
acknowledged that an emphasis on export-led recovery through the
exploitation of mineral resources will result in severe balance of payments
difficulties in the future. Instead we call on the PNG Government to
promote local industries, strengthen the screening powers of the Investment
Promotion Authority, protect wages, reintroduce price controls, and
institute effective environmental regulations. We urge the government to
promote local agriculture projects so PNG can move towards being self-
sufficient in food production. The latter will assist to reduce PNG's foreign
debt and build the country's foreign reserves.
Sacking of public servants, imposition of wages freeze, abolition of
minimum wage, restrictions on union activities and privatisation of state
owned enterprises. While there is an urgent need for prudent public
expenditure, the burden of the changes should not be confined to working
people. We call on the government to commence dialogue with workers'
unions in order to determine the terms and conditions to improve the
delivery of services in PNG. We further urge that the minimum wage is
4. Forestry practices. Provisions in the SAP covering forestry practices are
highly commendable, however, we stress the need for greater transparency.
We are concerned at reports that the forest revenue system could be
dropped and the participation of NGO representatives on the national
Forest board and Provisional Forest Committees could be greatly restricted.
We ask that you ensure that the government adheres to the forestry
provisions of the SAP.
5. Consultation with the non-government organisations. The urgent
economic and social crises that PNG is now facing can only be solved with
the full involvement of the people of your country. To facilitate this we urge
that you immediately open up a comprehensive consultation process with
representatives of community and non-government organisations, including
the National Coalition for Socio-Economic Justice.
Please fill in and fax to +61 2 264 6092.
[Editor's note: the form is here omitted]
Anti-SAP Protests Sweep PNG
Thirty-five Papua New Guinean organizations, including trade unions,
indigenous groups and womenUs groups, have united to oppose the
structural adjustment programme (SAP) that their government is
undertaking. Up to 10,000 people rallied against the planned SAP in a series
of protests in July, and three demonstrators were killed by the police.
The World Bank and the PNG government finalized the SAP programme on
28 August, committing PNG to drastic economic reforms to qualify for a
$US683 million loan from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank,
Australia, Japan, Germany, France and New Zealand. Reforms include
scrapping the minimum wage, removing price controls on basic foods,
introducing fees for health and education services and abolishing controls
on foreign investment. Land law reform to give companies easier access to
forest and mineral resources, originally part of the package, has been
withdrawn or at least postponed due to the protests.
The anti-SAP movement, the National Coalition for Socio-Economic Justice,
admits that economic reforms are needed, but has prepared a detailed
alternative adjustment programme showing ways to raise money without
endangering peoplesU health, education, wages and land ownership. Infant
mortality is already high in PNG and only half the adult population is
A two week series of stop work meetings is being held across the country in
early November, demanding that the World Bank renegotiates the SAP in
consultation with PNG organizations. International groups will press the
Bank to carry out its promises to consult with affected groups and consider
alternatives to its discredited economic programmes.