Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of COVID-19 on Papua New Guinea

Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of COVID-19 on Papua New Guinea

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Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of COVID-19 on Papua New Guinea

September 24, 2020

The UNDP delivered one of its key COVID-19 response outputs on 15 September when it presented the first Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA) of COVID-19 on Papua New Guinea to the Development Partners Round Table Meeting (DPRT) at the UN Conference Room, in Port Moresby.

The DPRT was co-chaired by the National Government’s Secretary for the Department of National Planning and Monitoring, Mr. Koney Samuel and UN by the Resident Coordinator, Mr Gianluca Rampolla. The Government was represented by the DNPM, the Department of Finance and Treasury and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“The SEIA is an important document that provides the evidence needed by the Government to make informed and evidence-based policy decisions,” said Mr. Samuel.

The SEIA was presented by UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Mr Edward Vrkic and UNDP's Development Economist, Mr. Christopher Hnanguie.

“The SEIA is a critical input from the UN and other partners to the government to support its recovery process,” said Mr. Rampolla.

Four sets of policy recommendations were presented in the report for government, development partners, NGOs and businesses. Policy recommendations include:

1.    Investing in human capital and the strengthening of basic service delivery,

2.    Developing mechanisms to better protect the most vulnerable, particularly women and the unemployed,

3.    Economic diversification and pivot towards a ‘greening’ of the economy, and

4.    More inclusive and forward-looking socio-economic policy settings that facilitate stronger livelihoods and more equitable opportunities.

These recommendations were formed to determine how each of these main stakeholders are going to support the COVID-19 crisis recovery process for PNG.

“The policy recommendations presented seek to balance addressing the challenges presented by COVID-19 to Papua New Guinea with a commitment to continue delivering on the nation's longer-term aspirations to ensure that by 2050 PNG is an inclusive and sustainable society,” said Mr Wagener.

Additional reports were discussed. The World Bank and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have also presented complementary analysis.

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