Humanitarian Aid Work & Development Programs
The least developed nation in the Pacific, our nearest neighbour Papua New Guinea is prone to a host of natural disasters including earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, flooding, droughts and tsunamis. Health and economic indicators have been steadily declining since independence in 1975, and the country is rife with violence, health and gender issues. Around 60 per cent of the population do not have access to clean drinking water.
Australian Red Cross has played a key role in supporting Papua New Guinea Red Cross in recent years through humanitarian aid work and development programs, from technical expertise for promoting better community health for its diverse communities, to disaster response and preparedness.
Over the past few years PNG Red Cross has been working to improve community health with support from Australian Red Cross, including first aid, HIV and AIDS, malaria prevention, and hygiene. Most recently this has included support for Cholera outbreaks in 2009 and 2010 and has involved the deployment of Australian technical support.
Responding to disasters together
PNG Red Cross has a deserved reputation for quick and appropriate response during times of disaster. Building on this strength, Australian Red Cross and PNG Red Cross are working together to develop greater capacities particularly at local community levels. This will ensure that those closest to the communities affected by disasters are well prepared and able to respond.
During 2009 and again in 2010 PNG Red Cross has been called on respond to Cholera outbreaks in different parts of the country. PNG and Australian Red Cross have worked together to provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene promotion to affected and high risk communities. Trained community volunteers have played a major role in this response.