Overview

  • Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world with over 800 languages and over a 1,000 distinct ethnic groups. Most of the country’s population of almost 8 million people live in rural communities and are faced with significant challenges in health, education and economic opportunity.

    Economically, PNG’s overall economic growth performance has been consistent with real GDP per capita averaging 3 percent since the mid-2000s. While revenues continue to face challenges arising from subdued global commodity prices, good macroeconomic management and well calibrated service delivery is necessary to ensure development benefits are accessed by a greater number of citizens into the future.

    Papua New Guinea’s population of 7.9 million is young and growing. PNG’s growth trajectory and abundant resource potential provides a strong platform for economic engagement with Asia and further abroad.

    The country’s economy remains dominated by two sectors: the agricultural, forestry, and fishing sector, which engages most of the labor force (the majority informally); and the minerals and energy extraction sector which accounts for the majority of export earnings and Gross Domestic Product.

    To diversify PNG’s asset base and increase employment, investment is needed to strengthen capacity in institutions, human capital, and physical infrastructure. Electricity, telecommunications, road and other transport infrastructure remain critical to enabling private sector-led growth.

    Obtaining more revenue from the mineral and petroleum sector by discontinuing the practice of providing significant tax concessions to companies operating in this sector will improve both the fiscal balance and the foreign exchange position in PNG. Further, translating revenues into strong, tangible improvements in living standards for all Papua New Guineans remains the key challenge for the Government of PNG, yet other challenges are also immense. It is important to improve public financial management and efficiency of public spending to convert resource revenues into inclusive growth and, consequently, a genuine improvement in the livelihoods.

    Last Updated: Apr 10, 2017

  • The World Bank Group has scaled up its engagement in PNG in recent years, and is committed to continuing this support long term.

    In November 2012, the Bank discussed the Country Partnership Strategy for Papua New Guinea (2013-16). A review in July 2016 proposed that the strategy period be extended by two years to allow sufficient time to align the strategy with the government’s next development planning cycle (2018-2022) and the five year parliamentary cycle. This extended Country Partnership Framework runs for six years (2013-18) and guides the World Bank’s engagement in PNG.

     

    The strategy aims to ensure everyone, regardless of their gender, where they live, or their social and economic circumstances, will benefit equally from Papua New Guinea’s development goals. It also seeks to promote prudent management of revenues. This strategy focuses on three main pillars:

    1)      Increased and more gender-equitable access to physical and financial infrastructure by:

    •          improving and upgrading key national and provincial roads;

    •          increasing coverage of rural areas by mobile networks and broadband internet;

    •          increasing access to financial services, including credit for small-medium enterprises, the number of women with bank accounts, and access to banks in rural areas;

    •          updating policies to support increased access to electricity.

     

    2)      Improved gender equity in livelihoods projects by:

    •          expanding yields for smallholders growing ‘cash crops’ such as coffee, cocoa and copra; improving the sustainability and resilience of these crops to price and weather volatility; and improving market chain infrastructure;

    •          providing disadvantaged young people – particularly those in urban areas - with training, apprenticeships and short-term employment to increase their employability, and create job opportunities;

    •          encouraging public-private collaboration opportunities to facilitate business and investment, while removing impediments and inefficiencies in regulation and reducing business costs.

     

    3)      Increasing prudent management of revenues and benefits by providing support to:

    •          improve minerals revenue management and extractives industries transparency, strengthen the quality of public expenditure and public finance management, and supporting gender-equitable community development and benefits management;

    •          strengthen environmental and social performance standards by extractives companies.

    Last Updated: Apr 10, 2017

  • The Productive Partnership in Agriculture Project is Papua New Guinea’s largest agriculture program. Launched in 2010, the project aims to improve the livelihoods of smallholder cocoa and coffee producers. More than 56,000 smallholder coffee and cocoa farmers have benefited from various activities supported under the project. Further to this, more than 3 million cocoa trees and 7 million coffee trees have been replanted or rejuvenated since the project started. And with additional funding of US$30 million, the project is expanding into the momase region of Papua New Guinea, increasing its support to women farmers.

    In Port Moresby, the Urban Youth Employment Project is providing thousands of young Papua New Guineans with life skills and short term employment opportunities. The project has been extended to 2018 with additional funding support of US$10.8 million from the Australian government. This has allowed the project to open opportunities for up to 15,000 unemployed young people find positive long-term employment.

    Poor road conditions mean that for many people in Papua New Guinea, travel by road can be impossible, unsafe or simply far too expensive. Without reliable access to roads, people cannot reach schools, hospitals or markets when they need to. Now in its second phase, the World Bank’s Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Project has already restored more than 700 kilometers of national roads. Forty-six national and provincial bridges have been rehabilitated, maintained and/or replaced and an estimated 1.3 million people (27 percent of the population) have benefitted.

    In the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, a World Bank project is supporting inclusive development and strengthening women’s participation in development. Through the Inclusive Development in Post-Conflict Bougainville project, training has been delivered to 450 participants, and small grants have been awarded to 41 women’s groups, including at least one project in each of Bougainville’s 13 districts. It is estimated that over 48,000 people have benefitted from completed grant projects, representing nearly 25 percent of the Bougainville population.

    In February 2011, the PNG Department of Education began working with the World Bank to develop the READ PNG project: A K51.9 million (US$19.2 million) project to improve the teaching and learning of reading skills in PNG’s elementary and primary schools.

    The project focused on two areas: providing more books and learning materials to classrooms, so that more children can enjoy the benefits of reading; and on helping teachers improve their teaching of reading.

    While access to education remains a key priority for the government, over 60% of PNG’s 7.9 million population live in rural areas with limited access to basic services.

    Through READ PNG, many thousands of books were delivered to more than 21,000 classroom libraries across PNG, with more than 12,000 teachers and facilitators receiving training to improve their skills in teaching reading. The READ project closed in 2015.

    Last Updated: Apr 10, 2017

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LENDING

Papua New Guinea: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments


In Depth

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Project Map

Take a closer look at where our projects are located in Papua New Guinea

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Open Finance Data

Have you wondered what the World Bank does with its money? Explore open data about World Bank's financing in Papua New Guinea.

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Open Data

The World Bank provides free and open access to a comprehensive set of data about development in countries around the globe, including ...

Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Port Moresby, +675-321-7111
Deloitte Tower, Level 13, Port Moresby NCD
pacificmedia@worldbank.org
Washington, +1 202-473-4709
1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20433