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The United Nations Population Fund in Papua New Guinea has provided 19 Reproductive Health Kits and 2,000 Dignity Kits to Porgera, Kandep and Laiagam Districts in Enga Province following ethnic conflicts and election-related violence which has left hundreds of people displaced, especially  women and girls.

“During crises, such as what we have seen over the past three months in the Highlands Region, women and girls are particularly vulnerable,” said UNFPA Country Representative Marielle Sander. “During conflicts, natural disasters and public health emergencies, sexual and reproductive health needs cannot be overlooked. Pregnant women risk life-threatening complications without access to delivery and emergency obstetric care services.” 

“Restoring these services and facilitating transportation to advanced care facilities should be prioritised and, if safe transportation is not possible, we are providing safe delivery kits directly to the health providers in affected communities to prevent infection from childbirth, even during conflict.”

Nineteen Reproductive Health Kits (RH Kits) have been delivered to the Enga Provincial Health Authority for distribution between 9 health care facilities in the affected districts. These kits include PPE for safe, clean deliveries, STI and HIV testing and treatment, and pregnancy testing. These kits are essential for ensuring basic sexual and reproductive health provisions are available to women and girls displaced by violence. 

In addition to the provision of RH Kits, UNFPA has released 2,000 Dignity Kits (DKs) from the Lae Area Medical Store and delivered these to Mount Hagen. A thousand DKs have been delivered to Care International for distribution in Porgera and the other 1,000 kits will be delivered to the Catholic Diocese of Mendi for distribution in Laiagam and Kopiam. These kits contain essential menstrual health and hygiene supplies for women and girls affected by violence to maintain good hygiene. 

Three months of conflict in Enga has seen more than 70 people dead and more than 300 families displaced in Porgera District alone. Being able to deliver these supplies to the women and girls who need them requires safe access to the affected areas. In this current situation, the closure of Wapenamanda Airport means essential supplies are being transported by air to Mount Hagen and by land to Enga, delaying the provision of health commodities to the communities in which they are needed. 


UNFPA and Humanitarian Response

UNFPA Papua New Guinea works to ensure women’s and girl’s sexual and reproductive health needs and rights are upheld during and following humanitarian emergencies. This includes the provision of dignity kits and reproductive health kits that provide basic hygiene supplies, safe birthing supplies, and STI and pregnancy testing. Kits have been distributed to the Highlands Region following the 2018 earthquake, Western Province during the COVID-19 outbreak, communities affected by tribal violence, and more recently to Enga Province to support women and girls displaced by election-related violence.