The geographical location of Papua New Guinea on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" contributes to the vulnerability of PNG to the effects of natural disasters, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and drought.

The most recent natural disasters to affect Papua New Guinea were the Highlands Earthquake in February 2018, which affected some 544,000 people, the eruption of a volcano on Kadovar Island, which displaced the islands entire population of some 600 people to Dandan care centre on the PNG mainland. On 25 August, the volcano on Manam Island erupted, displacing approximately 2,000 people. 

Polio was reconfirmed in PNG in July 2018. New confirmed cases were reported by national autorities and WHO in September.?

INFORM measures PNG's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster as ‘high', 5.5/10, and its coping capacity index is 7.6/10.?

Latest Developments

10/09: The number of confirmed polio cases has increased to 10: three cases in Morobe, two each in Eastern Highlands, Enga and Madang, and one in the urban area of Port Moresby.?

28/08: At least 2,000 people have been displaced and around 5,000 are reported to be in need of drinking water and food, after the volcano on Manam Island erupted on 25 August.?

Key priorities

Shelter: Around 60,000 households are reported to be in need of shelter assistance.

Food Security: 153,000 food insecure people.

WASH: approximately 312,000 people are estimated to be in need of WASH assistance in the highlands.

Information Gaps and needs

  • Assessments in the Highlands are ongoing and still some specific information on sectoral needs is not yet available. Some areas remain inaccessible.