Weaving consensus: The Papua New Guinea - Bougainville peace process
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Aid is more than just financial support: during the government-supported blockade of Bougainville, development and relief programmes were important not just in relieving suffering but in maintaining a channel to the outside world and supporting local peace groups. Julie Eagles looks at the impact of Australia’s aid policy that shifted from unequivocal support for the PNG government to an emphasis on a negotiated solution to the conflict. With the end of the blockade Bougainville was flooded by international NGOs, which have arguably reproduced a dependency culture and failed to address the underlying causes of the conflict. Eagles concludes that small and well-directed aid programmes can have a significant impact and that for a lasting peace the development process must be locally owned and directed.