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Papua New Guinea


heading foldHow we are helping

2012/13 Expenditure

$500.7 million

2013/14 Proposed Expenditure

$527.7 million


Expenditure is total official development assistance inclusive of DFAT’s bilateral program, flows from DFAT regional and global programs and other government departments.

Implementation of the revised 2013–14 budget is currently under discussion with partner governments and organisations.


Australia’s assistance to PNG is directed to four priority areas jointly agreed and reflected in the PNG–Australia Partnership for Development. These priority areas are:

This support is in line with PNG's Medium Term Development Plan 2011–2015. Australia is also continuing to support initiatives to strengthen democratic systems and economic and public sector reform at national, provincial and local levels. We also promote gender equality and disability inclusiveness across programs in PNG.

Australia has invested $1.372 billion in PNG’s development over the previous three years. Some of the key results include:

    • procuring and distributing essential medical supplies to more than 2,000 of PNG's functional hospitals, health centres and aid posts
    • reducing the mortality rate for drug-resistant TB in Western Province from 25 per cent to just 5 per cent in the year leading up to September 2012
    • supporting the abolition of school fees for the first three grades of school
    • delivering 1.6 million textbooks to 3,500 schools across the country
    • facilitating improved police and prosecutor support to victims of sexual violence—over the past three years 19,100 victims accessed specialist police support through eight police Family and Sexual Violence Units
    • assisting the Government of PNG to maintain more than 2,000 kilometres of the national highway.

More results can be viewed under the ‘See our results’ tab above.

Read the Joint understanding on further cooperation on education, law and order and health [external website, PDF 100kb]


Results for 2012

  • In 2012, supported 19,823 supervised births.
  • Delivered essential medicines to more than 2,000 of PNG’s hospitals, health centres and aid posts.
  • Supported a national supplementary immunisation activity in 2012 that vaccinated over 500,000 children for measles and polio and over 1.2 million women for tetanus.
  • Trained 43 doctors, 30 specialists, 62 post-graduate nurses, 11 pharmacists and 41 lab technicians.
  • Helped over 81,000 people to find out their HIV status.
  • Distributed over 29 million condoms.

More information on health


Results for 2012

  • Provided 116 newly-built classrooms, 50 teacher houses and 50 toilet blocks, enabling 3,400 students to attend school in a new classroom.
  • Contributed in part to the abolition of school fees for the first three grades of school in 2010, 2011 and 2012, which enabled more than 535,000 children to access free education.
  • Completed $3.27 million worth of upgrades to Kerevat National High School—classrooms, specialist laboratories and water, sewerage and electrical systems.
  • Funded 88 in-country health worker scholarships (68 midwifery; 20 community health workers).

More information on education

Economic development

Results for 2012

  • Assisted GoPNG to maintain and rehabilitate over 2,000 kms of national priority roads.
  • Improved air freight processing times at Port Moresby Airport from 4 days to 1 day through streamlined cargo inspection processes, implemented with Australian technical assistance.
  • Assisted National Maritime Safety Authority to implement the safety aspects of the Small Crafts Act, to help reduce the number of maritime accidents in PNG coastal waters.

More information on economic development


Results for 2012

  • Provided services and support in over 9,000 family and sexual violence cases through police specialists in police Family and Sexual Violence Units.
  • Trained an estimated 4,574 police and other law and justice officials (20% of who are women).
  • Supported the establishment of an additional 91 village courts, dealing with 650,000 cases nationwide.
  • Recovered more than K4.2m in suspected proceeds of crime by assisting the Proceeds of Crime Unit to successfully obtain four asset freezing orders.
  • Increased women village court magistrates with over 900 in 2012, up from 700 in 2011, and 10 in 2004.

More information on governance


Results for 2012

  • Provided 250 blankets/bedding through the Red Cross to victims of the MV Rabaul Queen ferry disaster.
  • Provided emergency relief for the Southern Highlands land slip, flooding in South Fly and the Bougainville dysentery outbreak.

More information on humanitarian

Research overview

Good research can lead to better outcomes for the world’s poorest by improving the evidence base for policies and programs. That’s why the agency is committed to an innovative research portfolio. Research funded by our PNG country program specifically targets priority development challenges.

More information on how we fund research

World Bank Integrated Bio-Behavioural survey (IBBS)

This population based survey of 12,000 people will increase the understanding of HIV transmission patterns by:

  • creating more accurate HIV prevalence estimates
  • revealing demographics and behaviours (risk factors) associated with HIV
  • creating an index of stigma and discrimination at regional levels.

The large size of the proposed sample means robust data can be provided to evaluate different levels of prevalence by gender, age, and regions. Understanding the drivers of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the dynamics of transmission will enable better targeting of the national response.

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research–AusAID partnership for PNG agriculture (2008–2012)

This program supports research and development activities for the efficient and sustainable use of resources for more productive and sustainable agricultural systems. Through applied technical, social, economic and policy research, the program aims to achieve practical impacts for PNG smallholders, consumers, industry and government.

For example, a cocoa pod borer (CPB) management project that concluded in 2011 found that cocoa production in East New Britain fell by more than 60 per cent following the CPB incursion in 2005. This research program has developed a management strategy for farmers to mitigate the effects of CPB with remarkable results. After adopting this strategy, cocoa farmers have obtained yields up to 10 times higher than achieved when applying the previous management strategy.

Institute of Medical Research Support Program

The PNG Institute of Medical Research (IMR) undertakes research programs in six priority research disciplines: mosquito-borne diseases, respiratory diseases, sexual health, disease surveillance, infectious diseases and therapies, and operational research. The IMR’s research makes an important contribution to improved health outcomes in PNG, particularly in the areas of malaria, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, HIV/sexual health and maternal health.

In 2008–09, IMR conducted the first country-wide survey of the number of households that owned a mosquito net treated with insecticide, which was 65 per cent of households in 2008–09 and rose to 85 per cent 2011. The increase in mosquito nets was followed by reductions in reported malaria cases in many parts of PNG.

Findings from recent IMR studies conducted on multi-drug resistant tuberculosis have been adopted by the National Department of Health for treatment standards nationwide.

The IMR Sexual and Reproductive Health program is focused on National AIDS Council priorities/needs. A number of studies have been commissioned to focus on cervical cancer and high-risk human papillamavirus (HPV) which is increasing among women in PNG. The IMR will continue to focus on supporting the NDoH’s National Health Plan priorities to improve health in the country which is their primary goal.

In 2012, IMR is expanding into studies on safe motherhood and maternal health.

PNG Household Income and Expenditure Survey

The latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) was managed by the PNG National Statistics Office with support from Australian Aid and the World Bank. The survey covered just over 4,000 households in PNG and covered rural and urban households. It has three main objectives:

  • to assist in calculating household expenditure which will be used in updating the PNG National Accounts
  • to generate household consumption data that will be used to rebase the Consumer Price Index which is currently based on a weighting from a 1975–76 survey
  • to enable the improved analysis of livelihoods and poverty in PNG, including the calculation of a Poverty Line.

heading foldWhy we give aid


PNG is Australia’s closest neighbour. Despite positive economic growth rates in recent years, PNG’s social indicators are among the worst in the Asia Pacific. Approximately 85 per cent of PNG’s mainly rural population is poor and an estimated 18 per cent of people are extremely poor. Many lack access to basic services or transport. Poverty, unemployment and poor governance contribute to serious law and order problems. Improving the lives of poor people and promoting stability are central to Australia’s interests.

Find out more about why we give aid to Papua New Guinea


heading foldHow we give aid

Australia works with national, provincial and local levels of government in PNG to help them deliver essential services such as health and education to the poorest communities in PNG. Whilst some of our assistance is provided directly to the Government, most of our aid is delivered with the assistance of managing contractors. They help us provide technical assistance, infrastructure and other services, including essential funds to the Government. We also deliver some aid directly through non-government organisations (NGOs), and organisations such as the United Nations, World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

Find out more about how we give aid to Papua New Guinea

Read the Papua New Guinea – Australia Partnership for Development document


heading foldProgress Against MDGs

  • Eradicate extreme hunger & poverty
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability

Demographic and development statistics for PNG


Last reviewed: 18 February, 2014