Papua New Guinea Country Report
On 2 August, Peter O'Neill was re-elected as prime minister by 60 votes to 46 following the June–July 2017 national election. Policy will probably stall over the next six months, because O'Neill will be primarily concerned with managing legal challenges from opposition figures and consolidating his influence in the new parliament. Corruption remains a concern, with allegations of fraud damaging government and opposition figures. O'Neill is likely to maintain a favourable foreign-investment environment, particularly in the energy sector, because the government relies on energy projects to boost revenue. Disputes between landowners and the extractive industries will disrupt work on mines and surrounding areas. Crime levels in the capital Port Moresby and the country remain high,while intertribal conflict occasionally occurs in rural areas.
PNG continues to be a difficult operating environment, although the government actively pursues investments in the minerals and energy sector. Weak institutional capacity and inadequate skilled labour are barriers to business.these problems are unlikely to be resolved while government spending remains low over the next year. Road infrastructure is poor, and high rates of crime inhibit operations, with business centres often requiring additional security measures. However the government is looking to improve the country’s infrastructure, with agreements signed with the China Railway Project in particular expected to create necessary road links and improve port infrastructure.
Terrorist attacks remain highly unlikely over the next year, as there are no domestic anti-government or ideologically extremist armed groups in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Armed groups or individuals are unlikely to select PNG to carry out attacks, as there are very few foreign tourists or businesses. Members of armed separatist groups seeking independence for Indonesia's West Papua province may seek temporary refuge on the PNG side of the border, but the likelihood of PNG being used as a base of operations for foreign terrorist groups is low. Papua New Guinea is an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member, and this suggests dedication to preventing attacks
Interstate conflict is very unlikely, but low-level fighting between Indonesian military units and West Papuan insurgents periodically occurs on the border. Fighting between different tribes in the Highlands region remains a regular occurrence, although there is little prospect of these incidents escalating into a broader conflict. An outbreak of civil war is unlikely in the one-year outlook, but the 2019 Bougainville independence referendum may heighten civil war risks over the long term. Additionally, civil unrest following PNG’s national elections may heighten civil war risks over the long term, considering election season was plagued with violence.
Resource projects face high risk of disruption by locals demanding compensation for land use. Violent unrest is likely in the highlands region where illegal small-arms are easily available. Disruption to mining caused by unrest is usually limited to several days, but protesters are likely to break into sites, attack workers, and damage property. Strikes that occur within Port Moresby, such as in November 2017, have potential to cause city-wide disruption. Contested political transitions have led to mass political protests in the capital, but following the 2017 re-election of Peter O'Neill, protest risks will probably reduce over the next six months.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission and over one year of age.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Japanese Encephalitis: For stays of longer than one month in a rural zone during the rainy season (for children over the age of one). The vaccine is administered in a local medical facility.
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Papua New Guinea has a hot and humid climate, tempered by trade winds. It rains almost all year long with a respite from June to September (the dry season) and a peak of precipitation between December and March. Temperatures tend to be cooler in the mountains.
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