Overview

  • Papua New Guinea 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 or so smaller islands and atolls.

    PNG’s overall economic growth performance has been consistent with real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita averaging three percent since the mid-2000s. While revenues continue to face challenges arising from lower global commodity prices, good macroeconomic management and more efficient service delivery is necessary to ensure development benefits reach a greater number of Papua New Guineans.

    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 enabling private sector-led growth.

    PNG has complex cultural dynamics deeply rooted in tribal and ethnic identity, indigenous social institutions, and land. These lead to both daunting risk factors and capacities for 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 25, 2018

  • 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 World Bank and PNG government agreed on a 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 and the five-year parliamentary cycle.

    A new World Bank Country Partnership Framework (2019-2023) is currently being developed between the World Bank,  the PNG government and other key stakeholders from across  civil society and the private sector. This framework will aim 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.

     

     

    Last Updated: Sep 25, 2018

  • 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. Since it began, more than 60,000 smallholder coffee and cocoa farmers have benefited from various activities supported under the project. Further to this, more than three million cocoa trees and more than seven million coffee trees have been replanted or rehabilitated across Papua New Guinea. 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 more than 18,000 unemployed young men and women to engage in skills training and work placement activities.

    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 800 kilometers of national roads. More than 50 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.

    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 drug-resistant Tuberculosis with a prevalence rate of three per cent. The World Bank has contributed $15 million to the multi-partner Emergency Tuberculosis Project to kick TB out of PNG with improved screening, diagnosis and treatment programs. Patient treatment drop-out rates have now reduced from 30 percent to zero on Daru Island, one of PNG’s key hotspots for Tuberculosis and Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis.

    Since first hitting the road in late 2017, the project’s mobile X-ray screening van has already screened over 6500 people – nearly half of the entire population of Daru.

    In the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, the Inclusive Development in Post-Conflict Bougainville project is supporting inclusive development and strengthening 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 percent of the Bougainville population.

    Between 2011 and 2015, the PNG Department of Education worked 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 percent of PNG’s 8 million people 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, including to some of the country’s most remote schools, with more than 12,000 teachers and facilitators receiving training to improve their skills in teaching reading.

     

    Last Updated: Sep 25, 2018


LENDING

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

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments


In Depth

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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.

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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
pacificmedia@worldbank.org
Washington, +1 202-473-4709
1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20433