New data offers insights into rural poverty and undernutrition in Papua New Guinea

The dinghy ride up the Ramu River takes nine long hours, but my excitement mounted as we approached the small villages in the lowlands of northern Papua New Guinea (PNG). Upon arrival, we were greeted by children paddling and playing in wooden dugout canoes, and women washing sago palm (an important staple food among lowland populations of PNG) for food preparation. When the rumble of the boat’s diesel motor finally cut out at the small sandbar that would serve as our boat dock for the next several days, we were surrounded by an incredible silence that whispered of the isolated lifestyle and resilience of the villagers.