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Papua New Guinea
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Better planning, funding needed

THE Police Department is facing issues with manpower and resources to combat increasing of crime along the international border in Vanimo, Western and sea borders of Solomon Islands.
Border security is an essential component of national security.
Transporting of illegal cargoes along the international border of Papua New Guinea is a concern for police.
Seafarers involved in this trade know that PNG police do not have boats to patrol many of the outer-laying islands, hence, they take advantage of the situation.
It is more than just restricting territorial access through immigration reform.
It also protects states against illegal movement of drugs, weapons, and contraband.
Border controls are measures taken by a country to monitor or regulate its borders.
Border controls are put in place to control the movement of people, animals and goods into as well as out of a country.
Specialised government agencies are usually created to perform border controls.
Such agencies may perform various functions such as customs, immigration, security, quarantine, beside other functions.
Official designations, jurisdictions and command structures of these agencies vary considerably.
Sadly this is not happening at our border spots which is said to be an entry point for illegal guns and drugs along the PNG-Australia-Indonesia borders and the Highlands.
Police also say officers are unwilling to live and work there because the concerned areas lack government services like health and education.
Some 80 per cent of PNG’s population live in rural areas, where access to basic services such as healthcare and education remains limited.
Health centres and schools are often cut off from supply chains for months.
Physical isolation is a major challenge for the government in expanding access to and maintaining basic social services.
Just like police officers; those who are to provide health and education services do not want to live and work in rural areas citing many reasons from safety, poor road infrastructures, lack of non-existent of equipment and materials to carry out their duties and the list goes on.
While the recent investment in infrastructure has made PNG compare favourably with other developing countries access to many social services is still poor mainly because the road system is poorly maintained and frequently inaccessible during and after rains.
Given the remoteness and rugged terrain of PNG, poor access to roads may be one of the proximate causes of poor record of the government in the provision of education, health and other public goods.
If roads are poor and travel time is high, the cost of attending school or seeking health care may be prohibitively high.
With road access so poor, access to health and educational services are poor.
In PNG, the main challenge would be the larger distances that have to be travelled by service users and providers.
If the Government wants to have officers – be it police, teachers or health workers – on the ground providing services for the rural population, then it must improve the planning and funding for maintenance of the national highway network and develop a national infrastructure strategy to strengthen PNG’s freight and logistics systems.
Only then, officers will be comfortable to live and work there with their families.

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