USAID Provides Humanitarian Aid

Assistance has come in for displaced families affected by the recent tribal and election-related violence in the Highlands region of Papua New Guinea.

The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing an initial $100,000 (K352,500) in immediate humanitarian assistance to respond to displacement in Papua New Guinea, resulting from election and tribal-related violence, which began in May and continues.

The US Embassy says according to the UN, 25,700 students are unable to attend school and more than 550,000 people have no or limited access to basic health services due to damaged facilities, lack of staff who have fled the violence, disrupted supply chains, and other impacts from the violence.

It stated that there are also continued reports of violence, including violence against women and girls. Estimates from organizations and government officials in the affected districts and provinces indicate that tens of thousands of people are displaced from the conflict-affected areas. 

Through CARE International, this initial $100,000 (K352,500) will provide immediate food, water, sanitation, and hygiene services to 3,000 of the most affected people in Porgera-Paiam District. 

The funding will also support shelter and livelihood recovery for affected populations. USAID humanitarian experts in the region are working in close coordination with partners to identify and meet the needs of the most vulnerable.

Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy, Joseph E. Zadrozny, reiterated his earlier statement condemning the recent violence.

He said, “I again call for an end to the violence and a peaceful and free democratic process. The United States stands by and supports Papua New Guinea during this difficult time, and we will continue to work together to effectively address these issues.”

This emergency funding is in addition to long-standing USAID investments in disaster risk reduction programs in PNG and across the Pacific that are active year-round.

In Papua New Guinea, USAID has invested $5.4 million (K19 million) in preparedness programming that support communities and first responders to improve their resilience to disasters. 

USAID implementing partner the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is training national, provincial, and local disaster management authorities in PNG on disaster response coordination, shelter needs assessment, and emergency shelter management.

As a part of this program, IOM prepositioned emergency shelter supplies in high-risk and hard-to-reach areas in case of disasters. These items will be distributed to displaced individuals affected by the ongoing violence in the Highlands region.

In addition, USAID has provided CARE with $1.2 million (K4.2 million) to strengthen the resilience of communities in the Highlands to the impacts of climate change and disasters through inclusive community disaster risk management, climate-smart agriculture, and gender-based violence risk mitigation.

Press Release