Papua New Guinea

New Zealand Aid Programme allocated funding

New Zealand Aid Programme transparency

Snapshot

  • Papua New Guinea (PNG) lies just north of Australia between Indonesia and Solomon Islands.
  • It has the largest land area and largest population of any Pacific island nation.
  • The population is approximately 6.89 million, and 40 percent are under the age of 15.
  • Over 800 languages are spoken and a clan-based social structure exists.
  • Average life expectancy is 62 years.
  • The average adult has received just over 4 years of schooling.
  • PNG has the second-highest maternal mortality rate in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • PNG is ranked 137th out of 169 countries in the United Nation's Human Development Index for 2010, and has the poorest social indicators in the Pacific region.

Development challenges

  • Poverty is pervasive and income disparity is growing, despite several years of macro-economic improvement.
  • The recognised need to achieve broad based economic growth is restricted by deteriorating infrastructure and poor service delivery to rural areas.
  • Widespread law and order problems pose a threat to locals, constrain investment and inhibit the growth of the private sector.
  • PNG has the highest rate of HIV prevalence in the Pacific, which carries serious implications for society and could reverse development achievements made in recent years.
  • Gender inequality and violence restrict the ability of women to participate in economic, social and political life and is a root contributing factor to many development challenges in PNG

New Zealand Aid Programme activities

The New Zealand Aid Programme activities in PNG are based on the overall aid programme mandate and the specific development challenges in PNG. New Zealand's assistance to PNG is guided by a 10-year joint strategy (2008-2018) with the Government of Papua New Guinea. The strategy aims to improve economic development opportunities for rural people and improve social services in education and health. The New Zealand and Papua New Guinea governments have recently signed the Joint Commitment for Development(PDF 68KB) which establishes a shared vision for achieving long-term outcomes. Gender equality and the empowerment of women are incorporated throughout these activities.

Improving rural economic development

New Zealand provides support to strengthen PNG's agricultural sector. This includes support for:

  • Fresh Produce Development Agency, which links farmers and consumers of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Bris Kanda, which focuses on building commercially productive partnerships between rural communities and service providers in Morobe province
  • A government extension programme to help rural farmers improve their agricultural and business skills.

New Zealand is exploring the potential for a fresh produce wholesale market in Port Moresby, due to the increased demand for fresh fruit and vegetables in Port Moresby and from workers involved in the PNG liquefied natural gas pipeline project. There is scope to see wider social benefits from a market, particularly for women. In the future New Zealand will look to support other market infrastructure developments in PNG.

Improving social services

New Zealand has a long-term commitment to the Health Sector Improvement Programme (HSIP), a joint approach between the PNG government and a number of development partners to improve delivery of health services.

Support is provided for a number of targeted initiatives in community and reproductive health, and HIV prevention. One of these is the East Sepik Women and Children's Health Project which is managed by Save the Children. The project works with over 1,000 volunteers in 800 villages, and a range of health providers to improve standards of health in the remote parts of East Sepik.

The New Zealand Aid Programme supports a large scale household survey that will gain a more accurate picture of HIV prevalence and the behavioural risk factors that are behind the epidemic. The initiative is important for PNG's response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

The New Zealand Aid Programme currently offers around 250 scholarships per year for study in New Zealand and PNG. New Zealand will work more closely with Australia to improve the effectiveness of the scholarships provided to PNG citizens.

Bougainville

Bougainville is an autonomous region in PNG which experienced a long period of conflict in the 1990s. Over the past 10 years, New Zealand has supported Bougainville in its reconstruction, including strengthening of law and justice systems, and governance.

Through the Bougainville Community Policing Project, the New Zealand Police, funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme, provide training and support to the Bougainville Police Service and Community Auxiliary Police, who help communities deal with law and order problems in consultation with village courts and traditional leaders.

The Bougainville Governance Implementation Fund supports the improvement of government administration and service delivery. It is a joint initiative between the PNG Government, the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Australia, and New Zealand.