Press Release

United Nations and Partners Mobilized for Enga Province Landslide Response in Papua New Guinea - May 2024

28 May 2024

Port Moresby, 28 May 2024: The United Nations continues to assist the local authorities in the search and retrieval efforts led by the PNG Defence Force, following the devastating 24 May landslide in Enga Province, Papua New Guinea. 

Six bodies have been retrieved so far and the number is expected to increase as retrieval efforts continue amidst challenges due to unstable landslide conditions. The total affected population, including those in need of possible evacuation and relocation, is estimated at 7,849 individuals (1,427 households), based on the 2022 common roll. Forty two (42) per cent of this population are under 16 years. A total of 150 structures are estimated to have been buried. While the security situation in the province (between Wabag and the landslide location) is affected by tribal fighting, it does not directly threaten aid delivery currently, and the security situation is under control by the PNG Defense Force convoys. 

In addition, a bridge collapsed this morning in the Western Highlands Province and this has cut off the main Highlands highways just before reaching Enga, which has complicated the situation and disrupted communication between Enga and the rest of the Highlands. The alternative road to Enga is through the Southern Highlands highway which takes two-three more hours. The PNG Defense Force is looking into engineering solutions to fix the bridge as soon as possible.

The National Disaster Centre has made an official request for international assistance through a letter to the UN Resident Coordinator and has requested all partners to collaborate and coordinate assistance through the National Disaster Centre, Enga Provincial Disaster Centre and the Disaster Management Team* Secretariat.

 Immediate needs include clean water, food, clothing, shelter items, kitchen utensils, medicine and hygiene kits and psychosocial support. In addition, Provincial authorities have requested the international community for immediate deployment of geotechnical engineers to carry out a geohazard assessment. 

Since the onset of this disaster, the United Nations has been supporting and continues to support the Government authorities in the search and retrieval operations, establishment of emergency centres and initial/immediate needs assessments. IOM and UNDP staff, including the UN Humanitatiran Coordination Advisor are on the ground. 

Furthermore, the United Nations is coordinating the response efforts of all partners, both at the national (with the National Disaster Centre) and Provincial (Enga Provincial Disaster Management Tem) levels. Furthermore, the United Nations is actively supporting the Government in addressing the immediate needs. The UN agencies (IOM, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA and UN Women), in coordination with the local emergency response team, will provide relief supplies, including dignity kits, emergency health kits, tents and psychosocial support. So far, a total of 50 dignity kits have been distributed by UNICEF.


For queries, contact Ms Kesang Phuntsho, Head of Office, UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, Port Moresby,

*The PNG Disaster Management Team is co-led by the National Disaster Centre and the United Nations. Co-chairs are Mr Lusete Laso Mana, Acting Director, NDC and Mr Richard Howard, UN Resident Coordinator in PNG.

UN entities involved in this initiative

International Organization for Migration
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Children’s Fund

Goals we are supporting through this initiative