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Last month, trauma expert Paul Stevenson told the Guardian that the “atrocity” of Australia’s offshore asylum-seeker processing regime on Manus Island and Nauru was the worst he’d seen in his 43-year career. But while there has been significant debate about the effects of offshore processing on asylum seekers, there has been little consideration of what it means for Papua New Guinea. The Manus regional processing centre has been lauded by the PNG and Australian governments for the increased Australian aid and spending it brings. In exchange for PNG agreeing to host the centre, Australia agreed to provide an extra $420 million on top of the $507 million in aid budgeted for PNG in 2013-14. This aid is needed; while Australia ranks second out of 188 countries on the UN Development Program’s 2015 human development index, PNG ranks 158th.
Read ‘Money, manipulation and misunderstanding on Manus Island’ by Joanne Wallis, published in The Canberra Times.