Papua New Guinea

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The WPHF will help support needed capacity building for CSOs to address sorcery-related violence and respond to other situations of tribal conflict through effective local intervention strategies.

The Added Value of the WPHF

In Papua New Guinea, the WPHF aims to provide assistance for women’s CSOs to advocate for the implementation of a comprehensive Women, Peace and Security Action Plan to respond to the urgent needs of the Highlands region.


The Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) have long been subjected to inter clan rivalries and economic, political and cultural pressures resulting from continued armed conflict and the social breakdown of communities, with ensuing destabilization having grave impacts on the lives of women and girls. The PNG Highlands have some of the highest rates of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) globally, much of which is directly related to tribal conflict and other forms of sorcery related violence (CRV).

The Issue

A harmful practice that is widespread across the PNG Highlands, the majority of CRV cases effect women and girls who suffer horrific attacks perpetrated by members of their own communities, such as being burned over public fires and tortured for a span of several days. CRV in PNG is driven by deeply rooted gender inequality, a lack of available bio-medical explanations for deaths in local communities and a general lack of public education. These issues are compounded by rising unemployment, economic inequality, and a surge in drug and alcohol addiction among rural populations.

Complementarities & Partnerships

Several Highlands-based CSOs struggle to address the dual but inter-related crises of tribal warfare and gender related CRV, and its subsequent displacement of populations. Many CSOs working on CRV and inter-tribal conflict resolution are funded irregularly by various agencies and lack the capacity and training necessary to respond to SGBV, an important gap the WPH Fund aims to fill.

In PNG, the WPHF will specifically focus on:

  1. Empowering CSOs to establish and strengthen preventive measures and service delivery mechanisms for victims of SGBV, such as safe houses, repatriation and other relocation programs.
  2. Increasing coordination among state and non-state actors to promote good governance and strengthen entities for sustained presence in the most conflict-affected areas of the country.

Funding Needs

$2,000,000 over 2 years

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