The capital city ranks 138 out of 140 cities across the world, unfortunately in the same league as Damascus, Karachi and Dhaka.
Governor Parkop said: “Port Moresby has been ranked as one of the least liveable cities in the world, along with war-torn cities. This is a harsh verdict on our city, which we have worked so hard to build.
We are constantly striving to transform Port Moresby into a world-class city, with modern infrastructure, conducive business environment, cultural development through music, arts and creative industry.
To be ranked alongside Damascus is ridiculous and irresponsible, and we want to know how the agency came to this conclusion.”
As per the EIU website, the liveability survey was set in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The crisis caused liveability to decline – as cities experienced lockdowns and significant strains on their healthcare system.
However, Port Moresby was one of the few cities around the world which remained largely insulated from the virus.
While cases surged in March 2021, it was swiftly brought under control due to border shut-down, travel restrictions, and strict Covid-19 protocols.
Governor Parkop added that PNG’s Covid comparatively low statistics are evidence to an effective response, including a vaccine rollout launched in NCD in May.
“We have actively advocated for residents to take the vaccination. The faster, we get vaccinated, the faster the road to recovery.”
Governor Parkop said: “During the pandemic, while the gaps in our healthcare system were exposed, it also gave us an opportunity to identify and rectify these gaps. We are currently in the process of building a new Level-5 NCD Provincial Hospital in Gerehu, which will be the new general hospital for the City as the current hospital has been predesignated as National Referral and Teaching Hospital.
The new hospital project, which has already received approval from the Physical Planning and Building Board, will have 500 beds and will also serve the near-by provinces of Central and Gulf. In addition, we are also building a new hospital at Kaugere, Moresby South.”
Just last year, the National Capital District Commission had unveiled its vision 2030. This is a comprehensive plan that will guide all future urban development, including infrastructure, affordable housing, roads, transport, utilities and open spaces.
“The National Capital District Commission, our municipal government and I have a clear agenda – we want our city to be a safe, smart and liveable.
Though there are many challenges of urbanization and population explosion, we are committed on delivering on projects like Settlement to Suburb Upgrade, upgrading of roads, building market spaces for informal vendors and creating recreational spaces using the Ela Beach model.
We have a plan, and we are on track to achieving our vision.”
Slamming the EIU Liveability Report, Governor Parkop said: “A report like this is totally irresponsible, counter-productive and paints a bad picture of our city, internationally. It will impact our economic, tourism and cultural reputation.
So, we are taking it seriously and lodging our protest with the Europe-based agency which conducted the survey. We want them to review the ranking, and we have sufficient evidence on the ground to show what we have achieved.
Yes, we have a long way to go, but we definitely don’t belong with terror-hit cities.”
An official protest letter will be sent in the coming weeks, to the Editor of The Economist Intelligence Unit, he said.
Picture by Asia Pacific Report