PNG’s capital city ranks 138 out of 140 cities across the world, unfortunately in the same league as Damascus, Karachi and Dhaka.
The data was reported in the the 2021 edition of The Economist Intelligence Unit's, or The EIU Global Liveability Report.
NCD Governor Powes Parkop described this outcome as a harsh verdict, especially when the immediate authorities have been working tirelessly to transform it with modern infrastructure and conducive business environment, to dwell in.
“To be ranked alongside Damascus is ridiculous and irresponsible, and demanded the agency explain how it 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.
“Port Moresby was one of the few cities around the world which remained largely insulated from the virus. And while cases surged in March 2021, Parkop said it was swiftly brought under control due to border shut-down, travel restrictions, and strict Covid-19 protocols,” the Governor said.
He added that PNG’s COVID comparatively low statistics are evidence to an effective response, including a vaccine rollout launched in NCD in May.
COVID-19 severely exposed PNG’s gaps in the health system and citizens were left exposed to the pandemic.
However, according to Parkop, it gave authorities an opportunity to identify and close these gaps.
Governor Parkop said a report like this is irresponsible and paints a bad picture of Port Moresby, to the international community.
“It will impact PNG’s economic, tourism and cultural reputation, that is why he has taken the matter seriously,” he said.
He said an official letter of protest will be sent to the Editor of The Economist Intelligence Unit.