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Development assistance in Papua New Guinea

Flag of Papua New Guinea

Health security in Papua New Guinea

Australia invests over $100 million per year in Papua New Guinea’s health sector, through bilateral, regional and global programs. Our goal is to support the Government of PNG’s efforts to improve the health of its citizens, in line with the PNG National Health Plan, by focusing on three health outcomes:

  • improved prevention, detection and response to emerging and existing high burden communicable disease and health security threats
  • improved rural primary health care through stronger health systems, including through better use of PNG’s own financial and human resources
  • integrated family planning, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services.

COVID-19 response

Australia has worked closely with the PNG Government and its people to support their response to COVID-19 outbreaks since 2020. Our assistance included provision of personal protective equipment and vaccines, support for testing and surveillance, clinical response – including the deployment of six Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT), comprehensive vaccine rollout support – and assistance for economic recovery.

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PNG-Australia Transition to Health (PATH)

Papua New Guinea-Australia Transition to Health (PATH), is Australia’s primary bilateral health delivery mechanism, valued at $200 million over 5 years (2020 to 2025). PATH aims to assist Provincial Health Authorities to deliver better primary health care in Western, Western Highlands, West Sepik, East New Britain, Morobe and Bougainville provinces. PATH manages tuberculosis, malaria, routine immunisations, and sexual and reproductive health programs.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Investment Design Document for the PNG-Australia Transition to Health Program 2019 Design

Health Services Sector Development Program (HSSDP)

The Health Services Sector Development Program ($81.5 million, 2018-2025) is a partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The program delivers essential health infrastructure and strengthens health systems through targeted professional development and training, particularly at the provincial level. HSSDP activities include: the construction of 17 health facilities (4 district hospitals, 8 health centres and 5 community health posts) across 14 provinces in PNG and the roll-out of the electronic National Health Information System to all Provincial Health Authorities across PNG.

Related links

Health Services Sector Development Program: Additional Financing Report

ANGAU Hospital

Australia is supporting the redevelopment of ANGAU Memorial Hospital in Lae, Morobe Province. Our commitment supports ANGAU hospital to be a leading specialist healthcare provider and includes funding for capital works and support for health planning, upskilling of clinical and non-clinical staff, rural health infrastructure upgrades and strengthening of the health system. The redevelopment is the last remaining commitment under the 2013 Joint Understanding between Australian and PNG on Further Bilateral Cooperation on Health, Education and Law and Order and is the single biggest commitment that Australia has made in development assistance in infrastructure for PNG since independence.

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles and PNG Deputy Prime Minister John Russo officially opened the ANGAU Hospital Redevelopment
Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles and PNG Deputy Prime Minister John Russo officially opened the ANGAU Hospital Redevelopment – Australia’s single biggest infrastructure investment in PNG – on 13 October 2022. Photo: JID

Related links

Joint Understanding on further bilateral cooperation on health, education and law and order

Deputy Prime Minister’s Speech at the Opening of Angau Memorial Hospital Redevelopment on 13 October 2022

Accelerated Immunisation and Health Systems Strengthening Program

Australia is partnering with New Zealand and Gavi on a joined-up approach to building health system capacity to increase immunisation coverage. The initiative (2019-2023), aims to provide routine vaccinations to up to 80 per cent of children in 12 provinces through strengthening primary healthcare systems, leading to enhanced immunisation service delivery including in remote communities.

DFAT-WHO PNG Bilateral Partnership

Australia is providing $18 million (2018-2023) to support the work of WHO across PNG on a range of health priorities.  The partnership aims to supplement PNG’s technical capacity on disease outbreak control, tuberculosis, maternal health and improving access to essential medicines.

Related links

WHO country profile: Papua New Guinea

Partnering for Strong Families

Australia is providing $34.6 million (2017-2023) to Marie Stopes PNG to reduce maternal mortality, infant mortality, neonatal mortality and under five mortality in PNG. The Partnering for Strong Families program aims to increase access to quality, integrated sexual and reproductive health, family planning, and maternal and child health services in PNG.

Related documents

Name of document Year published Type
Partnering for Strong Families (PSF) Evaluation and management response 2023 Review and management response

Australia – China – Papua New Guinea Pilot Cooperation on Malaria Control

The Australia-China-Papua New Guinea Trilateral Cooperation on Malaria Control Project is a unique collaboration between PNG, China and Australia. The partnership aims to improve the capacity of PNG’s health system to reduce the burden of disease, and to identify opportunities for enhanced cooperation on health security. The initial phase ($5.5m, 2016-2019) trained more than 300 health workers, clinicians, researchers and scientists. Rollout of Phase 2 ($6 million, 2020-2023) commenced in 2020.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Australia, China and Papua New Guinea Pilot Cooperation on Malaria Control Project (The Trilateral Malaria Project) independent mid term review and joint management response 2018 Review and management response

Support to combat TB and drug-resistant TB in Western Province and National Capital District (NCD)

Australia is the largest donor to TB services in PNG and has provided over $70 million since 2011 in support to Western Province and National Capital District to help combat drug resistant TB. Our support is delivered through partnerships with the National Department of Health, Western Provincial Health Authority, the World Health Organization, Burnet Institute, World Vision and the World Bank.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Review of DFAT support to TB response in Papua New Guinea from 2011 -2018: Management response 2019 Review and management response

Related links

The World Bank Emergency Tuberculosis Project

Other global and regional support

Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security

The Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security supports Regional Health Security in the Indo-Pacific. It works with partner governments, global and regional bodies, donors, institutions and the private sector to anticipate, avert and arrest outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases, and the growth of drug resistance. This is being achieved by strengthening national and regional health systems, facilitating regional collaboration and developing regional public goods. PNG is the single biggest recipient of assistance through this regional program.

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