Australian assistance to Bougainville

Up to $50 million 2016-2017

The Autonomous Region of Bougainville, as elsewhere in PNG, faces a range of constraints to economic growth and human development. Bougainville continues to face additional challenges as a result of its nine year civil conflict (1988 to 1997).

In consultation with the PNG Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), Australia’s aid to Bougainville is supporting stability by strengthening governance and service delivery, promoting social cohesion and private sector-driven economic growth, and empowering women and youth. Working primarily through our PNG national programs in health, education, transport infrastructure, and law and justice, Australia aims to build capacity within the ABG to improve its capacity to deliver services.

Our PNG Health and HIV programs are working with the ABG Department of Health to progress programs and reforms in public health, health systems, workforce planning and rural health. Australia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the PNG National Department of Health and the ABG to work together on capacity building, health infrastructure and the procurement of health equipment and vehicles. We are refurbishing Arawa Hospital – including upgrades to the operating theatre, the maternal and child unit, and the accident and emergency unit – to expand and improve health services for the people of Central and South Bougainville.

In the education sector, Australia is working with the PNG Department of Education and the ABG Department of Education on a Bougainville-specific program for elementary, primary, secondary and post-secondary education, including Technical Vocational Education and Training. Support for school infrastructure, through the Health and Education Procurement Facility, includes the building of a community library in Buka and five double classrooms for primary schools, and providing 18 other primary school infrastructure support packages.

The PNG-Australia Transport Sector Support Program is supporting the ABG Department of Technical Services to maintain and rehabilitate priority roads, providing employment opportunities for many Bougainvilleans, including women. Through the PNG-Australia Law and Justice Partnership, Australia supports infrastructure development, delivery of law and justice services at the community level (including training) and gender programs (building safe houses and leadership training). Australia’s support for the construction of the Mabiri Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre, the first of its kind in PNG, will help rehabilitate and reintegrate young offenders. will continue to support the Pre-Recruit Education Program, which is an important part of rebuilding the Bougainville Police Service.

Supporting effective governance is a priority for Australia’s aid to Bougainville. We are working with New Zealand to improve the capacity of the ABG to implement the Bougainville Peace Agreement. As agreed with the ABG, priorities include strengthening communication capacity, rebuilding human services, improving budget systems, support for electoral institutions and processes, and legislative drafting. We are expanding our economic assistance to Bougainville, focusing on private sector engagement in agriculture, including the local cocoa industry. Australia is partnering with the ABG and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) to improve management strategies for cocoa and food security. In partnership with New Zealand, Australia also supports a Commodity Support Facility (CSF) to establish partnership arrangements between the ABG and the private sector, NGOs and farmer cooperatives or community groups.

The Australian-funded Bougainville Peace Building Program is helping the ABG facilitate the reconciliation of crisis-era disputes and conflicts. Australia supports the Bougainville Gender Investment Plan, which aims to reduce gender-based violence, strengthen women’s leadership and improve women’s economic opportunities. We  are working with NGOs to increase the positive social, economic and political participation of youth and people with disabilities in Bougainville’s society and their contribution to its peaceful future.
Information on the results of Australia’s support in Bougainville can be found in the  2016-17 Aid Program Performance Report (APPR).

Related links

Last Updated: 24 February 2017