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Supporting access to social infrastructure, systems and services that help build healthy communities

We invest in projects and programs to build capacity for, and enhance access to, healthcare and other essential services.

By supporting the development and maintenance of vital social infrastructure, systems and services, we aim to contribute to the resilience of communities, helping them to build the resources and facilities to thrive.

Find out more about some of our recent programs:

Health and well-being services

Access to reliable healthcare is fundamental to the well-being and resilience of individuals and communities. By supporting the development and maintenance of vital healthcare infrastructure, systems, and services, we work to ensure that communities have the necessary resources to address health challenges, respond to health and mental health crises, prevent diseases, and promote overall well-being.

In Papua New Guinea, the Santos Foundation works alongside the Provincial Health Authorities (PHAs) in Hela, Southern Highlands, and Gulf Provinces, as they deliver services for a catchment population of over one million people (11 per cent of the total population of PNG). These three PHAs are operating in some of the most difficult terrains and contexts in PNG. Santos Foundation’s support includes financial, governance, human resource management advice, logistical support for remote service delivery, infrastructure development, leveraging of funding, direct funding for agreed activities and monitoring and evaluation activities.

Support during the COVID-19 crisis

Papua New Guinea was enormously challenged by COVID-19. From the start of the pandemic, Santos Foundation procured, donated, and delivered personal protective equipment supplies for around 1,800 staff in all 105 health facilities in Hela, Southern Highlands, and Gulf Provinces of Papua New Guinea.

The country experienced a high level of vaccine hesitancy among the population due to misinformation and a lack of knowledge about vaccines.

In October 2021, the Foundation commenced the jointly funded COVID-19 surge support project to assist PHAs in Papua New Guinea to provide community education about the pandemic and the vaccines available to reduce the impacts of the virus. In partnership with the Papua New Guinean Government, Santos Foundation and the Australian Government jointly funded this program, and by the end of December 2022, the successful roll-out of the program resulted in:

  • 108,000 participants attending 681 community education sessions
  • 8,525 people vaccinated across the Hela, Gulf and Southern Highland provinces.

Santos Foundation, alongside its partner, Advancing PNG: Women’s Leadership Network (APNGWLN) also reached thousands of local women with an initiative to support them to play a leadership role encouraging their communities to be vaccinated. In just two months of the program, the Foundation’s COVAX team and APNGWLN reached over 100 communities and 6,600 people with community education and the chance to be vaccinated on the spot.

Gender initiatives

The Santos Foundation supports gender initiatives and family and sexual violence prevention programs to ensure that women and children are able to participate safely and equally in all aspects of life.

The Bel isi and other gender initiatives

The Santos Foundation is committed to addressing family and sexual violence (FSV) through its unwavering support of Bel isi PNG. Launched in 2018, Bel isi PNG is a jointly funded public-private partnership between the Australian Government, Bank South Pacific, Steamships PNG, and the Santos Foundation. It provides case management and safe house accommodation to those that have experienced family and sexual violence, and is run by Femili PNG, a local non-government provider of FSV services.

Bel isi PNG uses a subscription model for local businesses, enabling access to services for employees affected by FSV, as well as being open for the public. Subscription fees not only support the operations of the safe house but also provide participating businesses with technical advisory services from another partner, the Business Coalition for Women (BCFW), enabling companies to develop policies and workplace procedures to address this critical issue. To date, 17 businesses have subscribed to Bel isi PNG, and approximately 25 per cent of all referrals come from these subscribers. The initiative has been instrumental in providing crucial support to survivors, with a cumulative total of over 1,000 clients receiving services since its inception.

In addition, the Santos Foundation helps support a network of six Family Service Centres (FSCs) in Hela Province. The foundation has supported women through initiatives like the Hela Provincial Women’s Forum, where women’s voices are amplified, and solutions to pressing issues are identified. Santos Foundation leverages funding, provides planning and logistical support, and collaborates with various partners to address the challenges faced by women including violence, access to services, and limited economic opportunities.

By working in partnership with various stakeholders, the foundation contributes to the ongoing success and impact of Bel isi PNG and supports the FSCs, making a tangible difference in the lives of individuals and communities affected by family and sexual violence.

Infrastructure improvements

The Santos Foundation has been actively supporting the improvement of nine health facilities in Kutubu, Southern Highlands. Recognising the importance of accessible healthcare for the community, we have collaborated with the Southern Highlands Provincial Health Authority and the Evangelical Church of PNG to implement a joint, multi-year strategy. Our focus is on repositioning and strengthening these facilities to deliver essential healthcare services, especially in the event of future public health emergencies.

Key priorities include addressing staff housing and performance, filling medical and nursing positions, enhancing tuberculosis services, improving immunisation and maternal health care, and upgrading infrastructure. Through these efforts, we aim to ensure that the communities in Kutubu have sustained access to quality healthcare services.