Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is an important United States partner in advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Our relationship is based on mutual respect, shared history, and common values of strength through diversity, fairness, and freedom.
The United States and Papua New Guinea (PNG) have a close relationship that is growing through the establishment of a new USAID Country Representative Office in Port Moresby in 2023. As the world’s premier development agency, USAID focuses on electrification, promoting good governance, increasing resilience to climate change, protecting biodiversity, strengthening health systems, and preparing for and responding to disasters in PNG. USAID is working closely with local Papua New Guinean organizations, multilateral agencies, and the private sector towards shared development goals.
USAID advances the PNG Electrification Partnership, established during the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit between the United States, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and PNG to increase PNG’s electricity access to 70 percent by 2030. The project will provide electricity to at least 350,000 households in PNG.
ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
USAID helps to reduce threats such as climate change, to PNG’s rich biodiversity, which is among the most vulnerable in the world. USAID works with partners at the national, provincial, and community levels to promote transparent policies for effective stewardship of natural resources, and preserve biodiversity in priority places to reduce threats. As of December 2022, USAID has supported traditional clan landowners in five provinces of PNG to manage and protect over 360,000 hectares of land.
USAID is strengthening the capacity of locally established civil society organizations in the Pacific to address the second order impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. USAID assistance supports communities to increase their resilience to disasters and climate risks, enhance their livelihoods, increase food security, improve access to water, bolster health and education, improve governance, manage natural resources more sustainably, and conserve vital biodiversity.
DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNANCE
USAID reinforces the foundations of good governance by encouraging all citizens, including women, youth, and other marginalized groups, to participate in democratic processes. USAID supported the 2022 elections through voter education, leadership training, and monitoring of electoral processes. USAID increased inclusion in PNG’s 2022 national election through supporting the training of women parliamentary candidates on mental health resilience and responding to violence in political campaigns, as well as supporting students with disabilities to register to vote and assess polling places for inclusivity.
PNG has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the Pacific Islands. USAID works with national and local government and civil society to reduce HIV prevalence, provide high-quality HIV care and treatment services, prevent gender-based violence, and strengthen local institutions through community-led monitoring. USAID’s sustained HIV support has created a model province in PNG’s National Capital District, where 100 percent of all people living with HIV in the National Capital District know their HIV status, 100 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 91.4 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy achieve viral suppression.
USAID has provided nearly $22 million to help PNG’s efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic. USAID support includes ventilator donation and associated training; surge response activities including isolation, containment, and critical care management; prevention and response activities such as risk communication and community engagement, infection prevention and control, case detection, surveillance, and lab support. Additionally, USAID has procured and delivered critical medical supplies and commodities to support oxygen therapy and delivery, clinical monitoring, and management for 89 health facilities across 22 provinces.
Malnutrition is a persistent public health program in PNG where more than 48 percent of children under five are stunted, 27 percent are underweight, 16 percent are wasted, and 48 percent are anemic. Through the Scaling-Up Universal Salt Iodization to Eliminate Iodine Deficiency Disorders, USAID supports food fortification efforts including improving access for rural households.
USAID is helping PNG end painful and disfiguring neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). USAID is implementing a triple-drug treatment strategy to treat lymphatic filariasis in West New Britain province, and as of May 2022, USAID’s lymphatic filariasis drug treatment campaign has treated nearly 83% of the East New Britain population.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE
Intensifying natural disasters and rising sea levels impede development, threatening the food security and livelihoods of Papua New Guineans. USAID helps strengthen community resilience to extreme weather, climate change, and natural disasters. USAID also provides humanitarian assistance to save lives and reduce suffering in communities affected by conflict or natural disasters. USAID has supported more than 12,000 people with disaster preparedness and response in PNG, helping build resilience to future climate-related threats.
ECONOMIC GROWTH AND TRADE
USAID assistance is improving the enabling environment for trade and investment, particularly in light of COVID-19’s global economic impacts. USAID promotes effective, transparent, and inclusive economic growth policies and best practices in a range of technical areas, including trade and investment, market systems development, business enabling environment, and access to finance. Through USAID support, leading businesses in PNG officially launched the American Chamber of Commerce Coral Sea (AmCham Coral Sea) in 2022 to bolster investment and business ties between Pacific and American companies.