• Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a remarkable diversity of geographic and natural resources. The country occupies the eastern half of the West Pacific island of New Guinea, together with the smaller islands of New Britain, New Ireland, and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, and another 600 smaller islands and atolls.

    PNG’s overall economic growth performance has been consistent with real GDP per capita averaging 4% since the mid-2000s.PNG’s revenues continue to face challenges arising from lower global commodity prices, sound macroeconomic management and more efficient service delivery is critical to ensure development benefits reach a greater number of Papua New Guineans, particularly given 87% of Papua New Guineans live in rural areas.

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

    The country’s economy remains dominated by two broad sectors:

    • the agricultural, forestry, and fishing sectors, which engages most of PNG’s labor force (the majority informally);
    • the minerals and energy extraction sector which accounts for the majority of export earnings and GDP.

    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 supporting private sector-led growth.

    PNG has complex cultural dynamics deeply rooted in tribal and ethnic identity, traditional social institutions, and relationship to land. These lead to both daunting risk factors and also provides a key platform for PNG’s resilience.

    There are limited formal job opportunities for the growing employment age population and other risks include environmental management, population growth, political fragmentation, inequalities in PNG’s resource dominated economy, and social exclusion of some groups.

    Last Updated: Sep 26, 2019

  • The World Bank Group continues to grow its presence across in PNG and is committed to continuing this support long term. In May 2019, the World Bank and PNG government agreed on the 2019-2022 Country Partnership Framework for Papua New Guinea.

    The new five-year strategy is aligned with the country’s development plans, and lays out three main focus areas for work by the World Bank Group in Papua New Guinea:

    • To improve the country’s macro and fiscal resilience;
    • Ensure more effective and inclusive services, particularly in remote and underserved areas; and
    • Diversify the economy and create jobs, including through the non-resources  sector.

    Strengthening governance in both the natural resources sector and across management of public resources underpins the World Bank’s strategy in PNG, which aims to ensure everyone, regardless of their gender, where they live, or their social and economic circumstances, will benefit equally from the World Bank’s work to support PNG’s development goals.

    The World Bank is also strengthening its analysis of PNG’s economic challenges and prospects, with the publication of twice-yearly PNG Economic Update reports.

    Last Updated: Sep 26, 2019

  • The Productive Partnership in Agriculture Project (PPAP) is Papua New Guinea’s largest agriculture program. Launched in 2010, the project has improved the livelihoods of more than 67,000 smallholder cocoa and coffee producers across PNG, with more than three million cocoa trees and more than seven million coffee trees replanted or rehabilitated as part of the project. The project also includes a strong focus on increasing support to women farmers. The World Bank is now supporting the PNG government to prepare a $40 million new project to build on the successes of this project to also include coconut, spices and small livestock, with the aim of commencing in early 2020.

    In the capital, Port Moresby, the Urban Youth Employment Project has provided thousands of young Papua New Guineans with life skills and short-term employment opportunities. Jointly funded by the Australian Government (DFAT) and the government of Papua New Guinea, with support from the Republic of Korea and the private sector, the project has helped 18,500 long-term unemployed young Papua New Guineans undertake vocational training and fully-subsidized work placements. In doing so, it created 18,000 new bank accounts and over 815,000 days of work, with 85% of community members in project locations reporting that crime and violence had reduced.

    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 160 kilometers of roads across PNG. More than 50 national and provincial bridges have also been rehabilitated, maintained and/or replaced and an estimated 1.3 million people (27% of the population) have benefitted from this support.

    Drug resistant Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious and ongoing threat to public health in Papua New Guinea. Daru, a small island in Western Province, is a global hot spot for multi drug-resistant tuberculosis. The World Bank has contributed $15 million to the multi-partner Emergency Tuberculosis Project to help kick TB out of PNG with improved screening, diagnosis and treatment programs. Patient treatment drop-out rates have now reduced from 30% to zero on Daru Island in PNG’s Western Province; considered a global hotspot for TB. Since first hitting the road in late 2017, the project’s mobile X-ray screening van has already screened more than 6,500 people – nearly half of the entire population of Daru.

    In the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, the Inclusive Development in Post-Conflict Bougainville project has supported women’s participation in development. Training has been delivered to 930 participating women, and 126 small grants have been awarded to women’s groups, including at least one project in each of Bougainville’s 43 Community Government Areas (formerly Council of Elders) spread across the 13 districts funding community-benefiting projects including markets and community health centers. It is estimated that over 51,000 people – almost half of whom are women – have benefitted from completed grant projects, representing nearly 25% of the Bougainville population.

    Last Updated: Sep 26, 2019


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

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments

In Depth


Video: In the Pacific, What is Possible?

Watch this video to see a realistic and promising picture of what is achievable in the Pacific by the year 2040.


Project Map

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

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.

Open Data

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

Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

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