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Development assistance in Papua New Guinea

Flag of Papua New Guinea

Australia’s development partnership with Papua New Guinea

2023-24 bilateral allocation [budget estimate]
$500.0 million
2023-24 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]
$616.2 million
2022-23 total Australian ODA [actual]
$643.9 million
2021-22 total Australian ODA [actual]
$706.1 million

Papua New Guinea (PNG) also benefits from non-ongoing COVID-19 measures. Funding from these measures will be included in actual figures published in the relevant Australia's Official Development Assistance: Statistical Summary.

A stable, prosperous, peaceful and resilient PNG is critical to Australia's interests. We are PNG's largest development partner and its main partner on economic and security issues.

Australia is working in partnership with PNG to implement the PNG-Australia Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership.

The COVID-19 pandemic aggravated existing challenges in PNG, including debt, strained already fragile health systems, and affected exports and revenues.

Australia is unwavering in its commitment to work with PNG on its recovery.

PNG COVID-19 Development Response Plan

The PNG COVID-19 Development Response Plan (CRP) set out how Australia is helping PNG to respond to and recover from COVID-19 shocks. Our support is framed around three pillars: health security; stability; and economic recovery, in line with Partnerships for Recovery: Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response.

Pillar 1 – health security

To support health security in PNG, Australia’s health programs adjusted to include COVID-19 preparedness and mitigation measures. Funding for health security was increased and our support continues to be directed to strengthening local systems. We continue to support essential services to minimise the impact of disrupted health services.

Australia’s support for PNG’s COVID-19 response included deployment of Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT) to provide on the ground support and help strengthen PNG government systems; support for COVID-19 testing, provision of personal protective equipment and information campaigns, and support to help PNG’s provinces implement their COVID-19 preparedness and response plans. Australia also provided comprehensive support for PNG’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout, ensuring a secure supply of vaccines, and extensive delivery support on the ground.

More information on Australia’s support for health security in PNG.

Pillar 2 – stability

Australia and PNG share an interest in a secure, stable and peaceful region. Negotiations are underway on a Bilateral Security Treaty, a key outcome of the Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership, intended to better represent the breadth of our security cooperation.

The Defence Cooperation Program in PNG provided  the Australian Defence Force's largest international response to COVID-19, supporting the PNGDF across operations, infrastructure, equipment and border security. The Australian Federal Police (AFP), through the Policing Partnership, continues to support RPNGC to build its capabilities and support its reform ambitions. We continue to promote stability and social cohesion by supporting the Bougainville Peace Agreement, following the 2019 referendum and 2020 election.

Our increased focus on gender and justice and emphasis on strengthening protection and services for survivors of family and sexual violence help to build an equitable, cohesive and stable society. Our work in education, social protection, disability, food security, health, disaster risk reduction and humanitarian assistance all promote a more stable and resilient PNG.

More information on Australia’s support for stability in PNG.

Pillar 3 – economic recovery

Australia’s economic engagement with PNG is being strengthened to assist PNG undertake significant economic reform and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In December 2021, Australia provided PNG with a $650 million loan to help meet its 2021 Budget financing shortfall, assist with the ongoing health and economic impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic, and continue its progress on economic reforms under the International Monetary Fund Staff‑Monitored Program.  In total, Australia has provided PNG approximately $1.2 billion in Budget support since 2019.

We will continue working with our international partners, including the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank, to help PNG meet the important reform conditions of its loans and build a stronger and more resilient economy.

We will enhance support to the informal sector, which provides most of PNG's employment. We will continue programs to improve the business enabling environment. We will continue to work through the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) to draw in financing for quality, climate resilient infrastructure that delivers long-term benefits for communities and the economy.

More information on Australia’s support for economic recovery in PNG.

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