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, and 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.

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

14/08: Another case of polio confirmed in Eastern Province This follows the three confirmed cases in Morobe and Enga Provinces and 65 suspected countrywide in June and July. In PNG polio vaccination coverage is low and WASH infrastructure is of low quality, which may heighten the risk of the spread of disease.?

18/06: The government declared a state of emergency in Southern Highlands province, following political related unrest in Mendi. The government has sent troops to restore order.?

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.