Race to recovery: poorer and younger people will be the losers from a sustained budget crisis. by PAUL FLANAGAN The past year has been a year of poor public policy and misfortune for Papua New Guinea. The country ended the year in crisis management with cash shortages and budget cuts more severe than those in Greece's austerity package. Businesses are suffering from a lack of foreign exchange to pay for imports and sales are falling. Newspaper stories are increasingly of government cash shortages – funding not being paid to meet urgent medical programs such as drug resistant TB, teacher entitlements being deferred, superannuation contributions not being deposited, little being done to deal with the most severe drought since 1997. The international ratings agencies of Moody's and Standard and Poor'