Thursday, February 05, 2009

NZAID - Helping Papua New Guinea realise its potential

Papua New Guinea is a country of great cultural diversity and breathtaking natural beauty. However, it country faces serious health problems, including increasing rates of HIV and AIDS. Education and employment opportunities are limited for many people, and law and order is an ongoing problem. Despite these challenges, PNG is also a country with many opportunities, and New Zealand is committed to helping make the most of them.

New Zealand’s assistance

In July 2008 NZAID (New Zealand’s international aid and development agency) signed a joint strategy with the Government of PNG. The goal of the strategy is “To contribute to a just society, free of poverty, through equitable and sustainable social and economic development of PNG and all its people”. The strategy will guide NZAID's programme in PNG, and focuses on improved social services in education and health, and improved livelihood opportunities for rural people.   Between July 2007 and June 2010, NZAID aims to contribute NZD74.5million (106.5 million Kina) to Papua New Guinea to help realise these aims.

The NZAID programme in PNG is not about one-off projects but about using existing knowledge and encouraging the long-term development of the people of PNG. NZAID works with local organisations and government departments, and recognises that training and informing people is often an effective way to make changes in communities.




 East Sepik - 400 villages now have access to basic healthcare (estimate 8-12,000 people) in East Sepik

 Bougainville - 300 more villages linked to health services in last three years

 Bougainville – 4,500 eye patients seen, and been provided with 2,400 pairs of glasses in last three years


Rural Livelihoods

 Bougainville - 2,500 people trained in business skills and how to start their own enterprises

Business training school established for 160 students a year


Huon Gulf - 14 Cocoa co-operatives set up, helping farmers get their produce to market


1,200 farmers trained on how to produce better quality produce and to add value to it in the cocoa and fish farming sectors.


Launched a new programme with the Fresh Produce Development Agency in 2007 to help FPDA better meet the needs of farmers nationwide.



Bougainville - 300 community police officers trained by a resident NZ Police team.  Dealt with 4500 criminal incidents

 Kup District – work on voter education and community groups working with candidates contributed to a violence-free national election in that district in 2007.  The work of the Kup women was later recognised with an international peace award.  NZAID supported similar work by 50 groups nationwide in what was regarded as the most peaceful election in decades.


In Bougainville 28 domestic violence officers trained, counselling 850 people in just 6 months.


Education is the future


Since 2002, New Zealand has provided over NZD19 million for education in Papua New Guinea. New Zealand supports a wide range of activities that reflect the diverse training needs of Papua New Guineans.    This includes almost 1800 scholarships for study at New Zealand universities and at the PNG universities of Goroka, Vudal, Unitech and the Timber and Forestry Training College.   New Zealand alumni have gone on to make many solid contributions to PNG’s socio-economic development including as Members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers, senior officials, businesspeople and NGO managers, successful academics and journalists.

Since 1996, New Zealand has supported the production of indigenous school journals in Pacific Island countries.  The PNG School Journals are the most well known.  They are completely written and illustrated by Papua New Guineans.  These colourful books provide enjoyable reading, positive role models and a strong sense of national and cultural identity. Over 400,000 journals have been distributed to 7,000 Elementary and Primary Schools nationwide since October 2007.   

NZAID recognises that other organisations are better placed to provide services or support the development of communities.   NZAID is working with the UK Volunteer Service Organisation to help implement PNG’s making a living curriculum in Chimbu and Madang.  The programme assists secondary schools to tailor their curriculum to help the bulk of graduates who will not get formal employment become economically productive once back in their villages.   Another such group is HOPE Worldwide (PNG).  It has more than 70 staff within PNG providing health, educational and other social services to the underprivileged or disadvantaged groups.  NZAID has supported HOPE’s School library programme since 2004 to offer:

·                      A Mobile Library Service in Port Moresby with 12,000 books in stock. Each week the colourfully painted custom-fitted bus offers over 2000 books to schools that don’t have libraries. 

·                      An outreach programme that helps schools set up libraries. Since 2001, HOPE has distributed well over 1 million books to 2000 schools nationwide. 

·                      Provincial workshops for teachers on how manage school libraries.

·                      Computers to schools improve children’s IT skills.

From time to time NZAID helps schools that have raised funds for building projects but can’t cover the full costs.  This is done through NZAID’s Small Project Fund or the Head of Mission Fund.   They include:



NZ funds

Asitavi High School

Kitchen Facility Upgrade


Bereina Diocese, Goilala District

Training local teachers


Carr Memorial School, NCD

Classroom construction


Holy Spirit High School, Madang

School Water Supply


Mainohana High School, Central

Infirmary and school water supply


Tapini High School, Central

Staff housing, Girls Dormitory and Telecommunications upgrade


Hagara School, NCD

School desks


Abau Island School, Central

Classroom construction


Marunga/Kavudemki schools, ENB

School water supply


Koki Primary School, NCD

School desks




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