To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Researcher says Poverty is the key cause of problems in Solomon Islands

An Australian Marine researcher John Fairfax says extreme poverty in Solomon Islands is the major cause of the country's problems.

He says recent civil unrest and the riots in Honiara in April are the results of poverty surfacing.

Mr Fairfax says people no longer go to markets because they don't have the money to spend since the barter system changed to cash economy.

He says many families are turning to imported rice and cheap goods just to survive although they know these foods are not nutritious.

"The loss of the barter economy and the impact on the little money economy, is what caused extreme poverty and it caused fighting and arguments and in my opinion that is what led to the coup so that caused problems when the election happened but all of that problem,even the burning. This is not ethnic tension, in my opinion, this is hardship and poverty".

He says increasing number of people lack protein because they are not eating foods high in protein.

Mr Fairfax has been studying people's eating habits in Solomon Islands since the 1970s.

Source: SIBC

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