On 26 February 2018, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit parts of the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, significantly affecting the Southern Highlands and Hela Provinces. The Papua New Guinea Government's National Disaster Center (NDC), estimates that over 544,000 people have been affected throughout the five provinces, with more than 270,000 people in immediate need of assistance. The estimated death toll is currently at 100. Due to the remoteness of many of the areas struck by the earthquake, no complete assessments have been possible to date.
Months after the devastating natural disaster, people from the affected communities are still in need of assistance. Clean water and shelter are some of the most pressing challenges people are facing within these communities as they work to rebuild what was lost and regain their self-reliance. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society (PNGRCS) have been working with the Highland people to assist in the rebuilding and rehabilitation of their communities.