Papua New Guinea
Overview of Australia’s aid program to Papua New Guinea
2013/14 Estimated Outcome: $495.6 million
2014/15 Budget Estimate: $577.1 million
PNG, our nearest neighbour, faces significant development challenges that will need to be overcome if the country is to achieve stability and prosperity. The aid program to PNG is Australia’s second largest bilateral aid investment. Reflecting our close ties, we are also the largest aid donor to PNG.
Fertile agricultural land, rich mineral deposits and large oil and gas reserves are major sources of wealth for PNG. However, while PNG’s economic growth has been strong over the past decade (and reached 5.1 per cent in 2013), the benefits of this growth have not been equitably distributed. A lack of quality infrastructure, insecurity, weak governance, low education levels and poor health services constrain service delivery and economic development. More than 2 million people—or an estimated 40 per cent of PNG’s population—live in poverty. Life expectancy is only 62 years. Over half of all pregnant women give birth without the help of trained health workers. One in five children are not enrolled in school.
Against these challenges, Australia’s aid investments in PNG aim to support improvements in health, education, law and justice, transport infrastructure, gender equality, and governance. These are outlined in the PNG-Australia Partnership for Development. Australia is also managing the start-up of commitments under the $420 million PNG-Australia Joint Understanding on Further Bilateral Cooperation on Health, Education and Law and Order. In March 2014, we signed a new Economic Cooperation Treaty (ECT) to bring our trade, economic cooperation and development assistance to PNG under a single agreement. This, together with the outcomes of a 2014 assessment of Australia’s aid program in PNG, will help strengthen the alignment of our support with PNG and Australian Government priorities. Performance benchmarks and mutual obligations for Australia’s aid investments in PNG will also be developed. In addition, we will work more closely with the private sector to support development in PNG, and help create an environment favourable to private sector growth.
Australia's support for the health and HIV sector in PNG is directed through health financing, procurement, capacity development, multilateral partnerships and in-country scholarships. Our assistance has included a strong focus on skilled birth attendance, family planning and child health.
Health assistance in Papua New Guinea
Australia's support for the education sector in PNG has a firm focus on improving access to quality education. While the quality of basic education and gender parity will continue to be a key area for our work, we are also increasing assistance to technical vocational education and training, and the tertiary sector.
Education assistance in Papua New Guinea
Law and justice
Australia's support for the law and justice sector in PNG aims to improve the security of communities, address family and sexual violence, improve access to justice, and prevent and address corruption. Assistance is provided through programs managed by DFAT, the Australian Federal Police, the Attorney-General’s Department and AUSTRAC.
Law and justice assistance in Papua New Guinea
Australia' support to governance activities in PNG is delivered through a suite of activities with a clear focus on public sector leadership, performance and accountability, community engagement and electoral reform. We also work to improve the governance of the health, education, law and justice and transport sectors through our various programs.
Governance assistance in Papua New Guinea
Australia's support to transport infrastructure in PNG focuses on maintaining and rehabilitating national priority roads; improving aviation and maritime safety and security standards; and reforming key government agencies. Australian assistance to the sector is delivered through an integrated program which includes advisory support from relevant Australian Government departments.
Infrastructure assistance in Papua New Guinea
Australia's support to gender equality and women’s empowerment is critical to PNG’s economic and human development. We work to foster women’s leadership and economic empowerment and to end violence against women and girls through a range of specific activities as well as embedding gender as a key part of all of our sector programs.
Women's empowerment and gender equality in Papua New Guinea
In 2013-14, Australia's aid program supported a range of achievements in line with the priorities of the PNG-Australia Partnership for Development. For example:
- We worked to promote effective law and justice through strengthening access to legal services, policing and the protection of victims of family and sexual violence. For example, our funding contributed to:
- the establishment of 14 Family and Sexual Violence Units by June 2014
- training and infrastructure development for the Royal PNG Constabulary, including in Bougainville
- more female village court magistrates, bringing the number to 900 by the end of 2013.
- Our assistance resulted in increased access and quality of education in schools and higher education institutions, through:
- the training of 4,315 teachers and building or upgrading 120 classrooms
- assisting five PNG universities to complete quality assessments
- financing over 600,000 children to attend elementary school, reaching a 79 per cent national net enrolment rate in basic education
- supporting 328 postgraduate study awards in Australia and 505 study opportunities in PNG.
- We worked with Australian NGOs to strengthen PNG’s health and HIV/AIDS services. Our funding enabled:
- 24,848 babies to be delivered under the supervision of skilled staff
- 54,393 children to be immunised against measles and other diseases
- increased access to anti-retroviral therapy (ART) for HIV/AIDS patients.
- Our aid also supported the development and maintenance of essential transport infrastructure for economic growth and service delivery, resulting in:
- the maintenance of over 2,000km of PNG’s most economically important roads, totalling 9,000km since 2010
- strengthened aviation and maritime safety and security standards through modernising and upgrading PNG’s aid traffic management systems and communications.
Education assistance in Papua New Guinea
Education is critical to the future of PNG and is one of the four primary sectors of the Australian aid program. Australia is the largest donor in the education sector in PNG. Australia provides support to basic, secondary, technical and higher education. Australia’s education program is designed to assist PNG build its own capacity to deliver services that address education access, including for women and girls, improve the quality of education, and improve young people’s employability.
PNG Education Program
$65 million, 2014-2015
In basic education, we work in partnership with the National Department of Education and provincial education divisions. We focus on training teachers, developing learning materials, primary school infrastructure (classrooms, teacher houses and ablution blocks), educational standards, and education management. For the higher education sector, we work in partnership with the Office of Higher Education, universities, Technical Vocational and Educational (TVET) institutions and colleges to improve access and quality. The program also responds to the demand for a qualified PNG labour force. Our support to the TVET sector is complemented with a PNG Australia Pacific Technical College (APTC) campus in Port Moresby. APTC provides Australian recognised trade skills to Papua New Guineans.
Our focus on employability and education pathways for Papua New Guineans is delivered through the Australia Awards program, which provides scholarships and fellowships for study in Australia and in PNG.
Governance assistance in Papua New Guinea
Australia’s aid program in PNG includes investments to help PNG tackle its governance challenges. These investments underpin the PNG-Australia Partnership for Development priorities for improved service delivery and an enabling environment for private sector growth.
We work with the PNG Government to build more effective and accountable public sector institutions at all levels of government, and to advance transparent and accountable political and community leadership. We are also supporting more effective partnerships and working arrangements between the PNG Government, the private sector, civil society, NGOs, and churches, to help meet communities’ needs. Australia is also working with the PNG Electoral Commission, and other relevant partners, to improve the integrity of elections in PNG.
PNG-Australia Economic and Public Sector Program
$106.2 million, 2011-2016
The PNG–Australia Economic and Public Sector Program (EPSP) is a partnership to support the PNG public service at the national and sub-national levels to function more effectively and deliver essential services such as health, education and transport to the people of PNG. The program works with departments and agencies to identify solutions for service delivery issues, and uses a range of approaches including targeted training, small grants and specialist technical advice.
Strongim Gavman Program and Twinning
$199.9 million, 2009-2015
The Strongim Gavman Program (Tok Pisin for ‘strengthening’ or ‘empowering’ government) and the Economic and Public Sector Governance Twinning Initiative work to strengthen public sector performance and accountability in PNG. Under the Strongim Gavman Program, senior officials from nine Australian Government agencies are deployed to PNG Government agencies for up to three years, and support their counterparts to improve economic and public sector governance, border management, transport safety, security, and law and justice. The Economic and Public Sector Governance Twinning Initiative pairs six Australian Government agencies with PNG Government agencies to provide PNG public servants with public policy and technical experience. Each partnership involves a range of short term training activities or work exchanges in Australia or PNG.
Church Partnership Program Phase 2
$50 million, 2010-2016
The Church Partnership Program (CPP) Phase 2 aims to strengthen the institutional capacity of the seven main PNG churches to deliver services to communities. It also aims to enhance their capacity to promote good governance, through strengthening their role in policy dialogue, service delivery, and peace and reconciliation activities. The program supports a wide range of activities including maternal health training for village health volunteers, HIV/AIDS education and testing services, and projects to prevent violence against women.
Electoral support program
$24.9 million, 2011-2015
Under the Electoral Support Program, Australia is working with the PNG Electoral Commission (PNGEC), and other PNG stakeholders, to improve the integrity of elections in PNG. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is partnering with PNGEC to share its electoral expertise in a range of areas; including improvements to the electoral roll and the delivery of electoral training programs for PNG officials.
Strongim Pipol Strongim Nesen
$104.7 million, 2010-2015
Strongim Pipol Strongim Nesen (Tok Pisin for ‘Empower People Strengthen the Nation’, ‘SPSN’) aims to improve service delivery outcomes for communities across PNG by supporting the engagement of citizens, civil society, the private sector and government in shared public decision making. Applying and promoting democratic principles, SPSN targets improvements in health, education, gender equity and disability-inclusive development.
Provincial and Local Level Governments Program
$72.5 million, 2011-2015
PNG’s complex decentralised system of government means that provincial governments have significant responsibility for service delivery. The Provincial and Local Level Governments Program (PLGP) assists PNG to improve the financial, legal and governance framework for decentralisation, as well as the organisational capacity of provincial governments, districts, and local level governments to deliver services. This work is helping to build capacity for service delivery at the sub-national level.
$26.9 million, 2008-2016
The Australian and PNG Governments signed a Joint Understanding in 2008 to work together to protect the Kokoda Track and Owen Stanley Ranges and improve the lives of communities living along the Track corridor. The Kokoda Initiative is being delivered, in large part, through the Australian Department of Environment. However, a component of Kokoda Initiative: the Kokoda Initiative Development Program (KIDP), is being delivered by DFAT in consultation with the PNG Government and local communities. KIDP is improving education and health outcomes along the Track corridor; this work is critical to supporting livelihoods and basic living standards.
Health assistance in Papua New Guinea
Health is the largest program in the Australian aid program in PNG. We work with the Government of PNG and multi-lateral partners to improve health services and offer better access to essential health care, through a health systems strengthening approach.
The Governments of Australia and PNG have jointly agreed to prioritise aid activities in the health sector: to increase the percentage of babies delivered under the supervision of skilled health staff; to immunise more children; to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria; and to help more men, women and children access treatment for these diseases.
Read the Schedule to the Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership for Development, priority outcome 2: Health
Read the PNG National Department of Health's National Health Plan
PNG Health and HIV Capacity Development
$220 million, 2012-2015
This program supports a range of PNG government and non-state actors to improve maternal and child health outcomes by delivering increased health and HIV services to the rural majority and high risk populations across PNG. In line with the PNG National Health Plan and National HIV Strategy, the program funds research and provides grant funding to partners working in health and HIV. It also supports the Government of PNG to improve the detection, diagnosis and treatment of Tuberculosis (TB) in Western Province.
Up to $48.73 million, 2013-2014 – 2016-2017
The PNG Health Services Improvement Program (HSIP) is a direct financing program aimed at improving key PNG health system and service delivery functions. Most funding is directed towards PNG’s sub-national level, to complement the Government of PNG’s funding to provinces for health service delivery. This includes targeted funding for emergency obstetric transfers for remote locations; in-service training for primary health care workers and managers, minor health facility refurbishment, and investment in health facility and staff housing refurbishment in PNG’s 20 most disadvantaged districts. It also includes support to PNG’s National Department of Health for policy formulation, standards enforcement, and monitoring and evaluation of PNG’s National Health Plan.
PNG Health and HIV Multilateral Partnerships
$68.5 million, 2010-2016
Australia funds three multilateral partners in PNG to leverage their experience and comparative advantage in improving health outcomes. The World Health Organization provides technical support to the National Department of Health and supports routine and supplementary immunisation campaigns to ensure that children in the most remote districts are vaccinated. The World Bank undertakes analysis of health financing to ensure more funding is spent on rural health services, and contributes to the development of public-private partnerships in PNG. The Asian Development Bank is contributing to a revamp of the National Health Information System and strengthening governance arrangements for delivery of health services in provinces, including through up-skilling the health workforce, and construction of new Community Health Posts.
PNG Health and HIV Procurement Program
$170 million, 2013-2020
Procurement support within the health program focuses on helping PNG to plan its health infrastructure redevelopments by undertaking master-planning, rehabilitating priority health infrastructure and procuring vital medical equipment. The Australian Government is also supporting health training institutions to take in more students to combat the growing healthcare worker crisis through refurbishing teaching areas and building new teacher and student accommodation. Going forward support to PNG’s accredited Community Health Worker Training and Nursing schools will be provided through a co-financing arrangement with the National Department of Health.
Infrastructure (Transport and Incentive Fund) in Papua New Guinea
Australia is supporting PNG deliver infrastructure that will encourage economic growth, access to markets and support the availability of services to PNG communities. Insufficient or inadequate infrastructure creates significant costs to doing business, and constrains economic growth. Our support includes improving procurement processes and modalities, and capacity building.
Transport Sector Support Program
Phase 1 $386 million, 2007-2014
Phase 2 $400 million, 2014-2019
The PNG-Australia Transport Sector Support Program (TSSP) has been the primary Australian Government investment in transport infrastructure in PNG since 2007. The shared long term development goal of PNG and Australia for TSSP is a safe, reliable transport system that enables economic and social development in PNG. Approximately 75 percent of TSSP funding is spent on roads through the National Department of Works, directly assisting it to maintain sections of the core network of 16 National Priority Roads across 12 Provinces and Bougainville. In 2014 the program entered its second phase, under which the focus will shift to supporting larger highway rehabilitation projects for economically important roads, while handing more responsibility for routine road maintenance to the PNG Government. TSSP funding is also directed to assist aviation and maritime transport services to consistently move towards full compliance with international safety and security standards. To deliver more integrated Australian assistance and to improve oversight and coordination, the Program also includes inputs delivered through the Strongim Gavman Program, and the Australia-PNG Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Transport Sector.
PNG-Australia Incentive Fund
$87 million, 2009-2014 (Phase 3)
The PNG-Australia Incentive Fund provides grants to well-performing PNG organisations to build new or upgrade infrastructure. The program also builds PNG partners capacity in project management, tender processes and financial management. 20 projects were funded under Phase 3, the majority of which were to build and upgrade health and education facilities. Phase 4 of the PNG-Australia Incentive Fund is currently under development.
Joint Understanding on further bilateral cooperation on health, education and law and order
The Joint Understanding on further bilateral cooperation on health, education and law and order (Joint Understanding) was signed by Prime Minister O’Neill and former Prime Minister Rudd on 19 July 2013. The Joint Understanding outlines practical measures Australia and Papua New Guinea will pursue together to strengthen cooperation in the areas of health, education and law and order in Papua New Guinea.
Under the Joint Understanding, Australia committed $420 million of assistance over four years to:
- fund 50 per cent of the redevelopment of Lae ANGAU Hospital and contribute to the costs of senior management personnel
- deploy an additional 50 Australian Police in Port Moresby and Lae
- rehabilitate essential infrastructure at University of PNG and support twinning and exchange with Australian institutions
- the scoping and design of the Lower Courts complex in Port Moresby
- a scoping and design study of the Madang–Ramu Highway
- the recruitment of senior positions in the Royal PNG Constabulary, and the National Departments of Health and Education.
Australia and Papua New Guinea have agreed to develop a schedule to the Partnership for Development on the Joint Understanding.
Law and justice assistance in Papua New Guinea
Australia’s aid program is supporting the PNG Government to improve law and justice outcomes for its people and the goal of a just, safe and secure society for all. The law and justice sector has a direct role to play in promoting stability, economic growth and poverty reduction across PNG. We work with the PNG Government on five key law and justice priorities:
- The delivery of accessible, effective, ethical and accountable state law and justice services
- The effectiveness, legitimacy and accountability of PNG police services
- Local-level dispute resolution and conflict mediation mechanisms
- Access to effective justice, legal protection and support services for women and others vulnerable to family and sexual violence
- Improved resistance, detection, investigation and prosecution of corruption
These are delivered through a number of complementary programs including:
- the PNG–Australia Law and Justice Partnership and its associated Transition Program
- the PNG–Australia Policing Partnership (delivered by the Australian Federal Police)
- the Strongim Gavman Program
- the Combating Corruption Project.
Joint Fraud Statement between Australia and PNG
Schedule to the PNG-Australia Partnership for Development, Priority Outcome 4: Law and Justice (will be updated in 2015 to reflect the above five priorities)
PNG-Australia Law and Justice Partnership
$183 million, 2009-2015
The PNG-Australia Law and Justice Partnership (PALJP), managed by DFAT, is currently in a transition period with a new program due to commence in January 2016. PALJP works with PNG’s law and justice agencies: the police; prosecutions; national, district and village courts; legal aid; corrections; Ombudsman, and the Department of Justice and Attorney General. The program focuses on:
- the delivery of accessible, effective, ethical and accountable state law and justice services
- local-level dispute resolution and conflict mediation mechanisms
- access to effective justice, legal protection and support services for women and others vulnerable to family and sexual violence
- improved resistance, detection, investigation and prosecution of corruption.
Delivery mechanisms include partnership exchanges with Australian legal institutions, skills training, infrastructure development, procurement of goods and services, and technical advisory support.
Strongim Gavman Program’s legal advisers
$9 million per year
Australia supports the PNG Department of Justice and Attorney General and the Office of Public Prosecution with 11 experienced specialist legal advisers from the Australian Attorney-General’s Department through the Strongim Gavman Program. These officials are helping to build the technical legal skills of PNG Government lawyers, and support broader organisational change to improve the quality, timeliness and integrity of the delivery of State legal and prosecution services. For more information on the Strongim Gavman program (including supporting documentation), please see the Governance program page.
Combating Corruption Project (delivered by the Australian Attorney-General’s Department and AUSTRAC)
$2.5 million, 2014-2016
The goal of the Combating Corruption Project is to enhance PNG’s ability to prevent and combat corruption through hardening the PNG financial system against money laundering, corrupt activity and terrorist financing. The Project is building PNG’s capacity to analyse, investigate and prosecute money laundering and recover proceeds of crime. The project will directly assist PNG to comply with relevant Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations and meet key parts of its FATF action plan.
Pacific Sports Partnership: League bilong Laif
$4 million, 2013-2016
The Australian Government is partnering with the Australian National Rugby League and the PNG Government on a three-year pilot program called, in Tok Pisin, League Bilong Laif (League for Life). The program aims to improve the quality of education for girls and boys of all abilities in PNG through rugby league and related activities, and to improve the ability of teachers to teach physical education and healthy lifestyles.
Women's empowerment and gender equality in Papua New Guinea
Promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls is a core priority of Australia’s aid program in PNG. This is achieved through advancing equality of access to education and health, increasing women’s participation in decision-making and leadership, increasing women’s access to economic opportunities, and preventing and combatting violence against women and girls.
The Australian Government works with key PNG government departments, development partners, civil society and the private sector to support commitments to advancing gender equality.
Gender Equality and the Elimination of Gender Based Violence
$19.8 million, 2008-2016
The Gender Equality and Elimination of Gender Based Violence initiative is focused on promoting gender equality in PNG through policy development, advocacy, and supporting women leaders to bring about change. The initiative also supports the effective mainstreaming of gender equality.
Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development
$58 million, 2012-2022
Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) is a ten-year program, which aims to improve the political, economic and social opportunities of Pacific women. Pacific Women will support countries to meet the commitments they made in the Pacific Leaders’ Gender Equality Declarations. Through this initiative, Australia is partnering with Papua New Guinean women and men to:
- Combat and prevent violence against women: For example, Australia is supporting UNDP and the Government of PNG to strengthen national coordination, implementation and monitoring mechanisms for zero tolerance towards Family and Sexual Violence.
- Promote economic opportunities for women: For example, Australia is supporting the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to improve the economic empowerment of women in partnership with the private sector – including through improving opportunities for women farmers in PNG.
- Promote opportunities for women to take up leadership roles at all levels of society: Australia is supporting the Inclusive Development in Post-Conflict Bougainville (IDIB) project to empower Bougainville women and to increase their capacity for leadership, community organisation, and project management.