In Papua New Guinea (PNG), UNICEF’s ability to work effectively both ‘upstream’ (with governments) and ‘downstream’ (at the grassroots level) is what differentiates us from other development organizations, important as they are. UNICEF carries out its mission through a programme of cooperation jointly developed with the government, and it is this programme of cooperation that guides our work in the country. In this way, we support the government’s national development priorities, and thus avoid any duplicated or conflicting programmes. As a result, UNICEF is able to maximise the use of its resources for children.
Through its programme of cooperation with the Government of PNG, UNICEF is also able to influence major policy and programme decisions, and the allocation of budget priorities, for the benefit of children. In addition, UNICEF works closely with civil society organizations, the media, and academia to act as ‘pressure points’ to trigger public debates on child rights and development issues.
At the grassroots level UNICEF is turning the most innovative ideas into reality. Working closely with local non-governmental organizations, UNICEF has strengthened the capacity of the often remote districts and communities in the areas of health, justice, and access to education. UNICEF also provides direct assistance to the population in some areas, providing drugs, vaccines, and nutritional supplements.