The World Bank continues to grow its presence across Papua New Guinea (PNG) and is committed to responding swiftly to the country’s most pressing issues.
Our approach to working in PNG is guided by the 2019-2023 Country Partnership Framework for Papua New Guinea, a five-year strategy that is closely aligned with the country’s development plans, and lays out three focus areas for work by the World Bank in PNG:
- 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.
The strategy in PNG is underpinned by aims to strengthen governance in the natural resources sector and across management of public resources, and aims to ensure everyone – regardless of their gender, where they live, or their social and economic circumstances – can benefit equally from the World Bank’s work to support PNG’s development goals.
Key areas of support
In June 2022, the World Bank approved three new projects with a combined commitment of US$229.55 million (PGK808 million) to support PNG roads, employment and nutrition.
The US$107.55 million (approx. PGK378 m) Resilient Transport Project will fund the rehabilitation of 63kms of the Ramu and Hiritano highways, and fund extended maintenance of nearly 200kms of critical transport links.
The US$32 million (PGK112 m) Enhancing Labor Mobility from Papua New Guinea project will help PNG benefit from rapidly-expanding employment opportunities in Australia and New Zealand. This new project will support the PNG Government to boost equitable access and worker readiness for these programs, with a focus on women and disadvantaged groups, and help workers reintegrate when they return.
The World Bank is also supporting PNG’s pressing health challenges. The US$90 million (approx. PGK318m) PNG Child Nutrition and Social Protection Project will be multi-sectoral and support implementation of the ‘PNG CARES’ (Community-based Approach to Reduce and End Stunting) initiative. This work will deliver improvements to nutrition-focused health services at provincial health centers throughout the country. Additionally, the US$15 million (PGK34m) Emergency Tuberculosis (TB) Project is now in its fourth year and has helped PNG achieve major inroads to reduce the spread of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in key hotspots throughout PNG.
In June 2021, in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the World Bank approved US$30 million (approximately PGK105m) for the country’s COVID-19 response, in addition to the US$20 million approved in 2020. This additional funding supported the scale-up of deployment of COVID-19 vaccines to prioritized communities and training of vaccine delivery workers.
Also in June 2021, a further US$100 million (PGK 352m) was approved to support PNG in its response to COVID-19 and its sustainable economic recovery. The Papua New Guinea Crisis Response and Sustainable Recovery Development Policy Operation is helping to safeguard routine health services while delivering the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations, and provides financial assistance to micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises for job protection and ease the tax administration burden on small businesses.
Through the US$70 million (PGK223 million) Water Supply and Sanitation Development project the World Bank is supporting improved access to clean and reliable water supply services for people in 6 towns across the country.
In 2018, the World Bank launched the Human Capital Project, an ambitious global initiative to accelerate investments in people around the world – work that is critically important in PNG. The Human Capital Index shows that, on average, a child born today in PNG will be only 43% as productive when he or she grows up as they would have been with access to optimal health and education services. Based on these results, PNG was one of the first countries worldwide to commit to the Human Capital Project.
The World Bank is also strengthening its analysis of PNG’s economic challenges and prospects, with the publication of the twice-yearly PNG Economic Update.
Last Updated: Nov 28, 2022