There is a need for Papua New Guinea to develop a regional relief assistance framework that will build links across Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies.
This is given the fact that PNG faces major threats on natural disasters and this framework will help to develop regional and global solutions and responses.
Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato said this in Manila after giving a rundown on the El Nino effect, among others.
"Some of the many global challenges faced today by economies, including the APEC region, are food security, energy and disaster resilience which as responsible governments, we must address.
"I reaffirm Papua New Guinea’s commitment to regional cooperation in addressing these common challenges through both regional and multilateral approaches.
"Papua New Guinea is currently experiencing the impacts of El Nino with long dry spells and frosts destroying food gardens and causing food shortages. My counterpart Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop witnessed this first hand during her recent visit to Papua New Guinea," he said.
Mr Pato said while the Government has responded with some food relief assistance to the affected people, this is a short-term measure. The long-term focus must be on research of drought-resilient crops, food processing technology and accessibility with assistance of the governments of Australia and New Zealand alongside other development partners.
"Papua New Guinea sees the need for a regional relief assistance framework that will build links across APEC economies to develop regional and global solutions and responses. Thus, we welcome the significant progress achieved in the Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS) towards achieving the APEC 2020 food security roadmap.
"Food challenges and others are affected by important climate change issues, energy, and disaster vulnerabilities.
"It is the responsibility of our governments to collectively respond to the growing food crisis and provide measures that will protect our communities," stated Mr Pato.
"Our response must include mechanisms which streamline the humanitarian and development assistance together with scientific research that will increase crop and livestock production. Information sharing by economies must be encouraged on the use of best practices and techniques to increase productivity and make food safe and readily available," he said.