UNICEF in Papua New Guinea
UNICEF’s support to the children and people of Papua New Guinea began in 1986. Until 1998, the office functioned as a sub office under the Philippines UNICEF office. It became a fully fledged country office in 1998, when the first country programme of cooperation was launched.
Because of the country’s terrain, transport difficulties, the security situation and high service delivery costs there are difficulties for children and mothers to access services. Despite these challenges, UNICEF has successfully supported several programmes protecting the human rights of children and women in the country; many of them are showing positive results in the lives of children.
The current UNICEF supported programme (2003 – 2007) has three main features:
The programme is also in alignment with the country’s Medium Term Development Strategy (MTDS) and United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).
UNICEF supports some programme activities, such as immunization and birth registration nationally. It also supports the government and community with an integrated package of health, nutrition, water and environmental sanitation, education, HIV/AIDS prevention and care and child protection interventions in six deprived provinces.
The overarching goal of the current UNICEF supported programme is to promote, protect and further the survival, development, protection and participation rights of all children in Papua New Guinea. Since the wellbeing of children is closely linked to the wellbeing mothers, UNICEF also supports programmes for women to realise their rights.
In addition to addressing the specific problems children and women face, these programmes also influence policies and systems of the government to benefit children. UNICEF adds value to the development processes of Papua New Guinea by demonstrating good practices at community level and supporting studies to assess the true situation of children and women as well as assisting partners in creating a comprehensive database for children.
The UNICEF Country Office is located in Port Moresby (the capital city). There are two Zone Offices, one in Arawa (in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville) and the other in Goroka (in the Eastern Highlands Province).
The total cost of the programme is estimated at US $20 million.
UNICEF works closely with the government, communities and a range of other partners in successfully promoting and protecting the rights of children and women.