Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern part of the world’s second largest island and is prey to volcanic activity, earthquakes and tidal waves.Linguistically, it is the world’s most diverse country, with more than 700 native tongues. Some 80% of Papua New Guinea’s people live in rural areas. Many tribes in the isolated mountainous interior have little contact with one another, let alone with the outside world.
In Papua New Guinea, children make up almost half of the country’s largely rural population. Despite economic growth over the past decade, persistent poverty remains mostly in rural areas where 85 per cent of the population live. While some progress has been made in health, education and other sectors, persistent challenges continue to deny children the full realization of their rights.
PNG’s maternal mortality rate at 215 deaths per 100 thousand live births in the highest in the Pacific Region and second highest in the Asia Pacific region as is neonatal mortality at 57 deaths per 1,000 live births. Malnutrition is the underlying cause of half of all under-five deaths. Almost half of children aged 6 to 59 months are stunted and approximately 16 per cent of children under five exhibit wasting.
This assignment was done for UNICEF Papua New Guinea. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), UNICEF’s works effectively toinfluence major policy and programme decisions, and the allocation of budget priorities, for the benefit of children. In addition, UNICEF works closely with civil society organizations, the media, and academia to trigger public debates on child rights and development issues. At the grassroots level UNICEF is working closely with local non-governmental organizations, strengthening the capacity of remote districts and communities in the areas of health, justice, and access to education. Also provides direct assistance to the population in some areas, providing drugs, vaccines, and nutritional supplements.