Pacific

As govts scramble for Covid vaccines, don't forget the Pacific

Over the past few weeks, companies Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen Pharmaceutica have released results of significantly effective vaccines in preventing the virus.

But what does this mean for smaller nations who may not have the financial ability to be first in first served

The question of equitable and affordable access to vaccines for all countries is a matter of major importance to Doctors Without Borders

A push to have donors send more responsible aid to the Pacific

Much of the aid sent is food or clothing from well meaning, generous people, but if it is unsolicited it can end up sitting on wharves, deteriorating, and then having to be thrown away.

As another cyclone seasons begins in the Pacific the World Food Programme is calling on people to donate responsibly.

The director of the WFP in the Pacific, Jo Pilgrim, said this unsolicited aid, arriving by the container load, or in cartons, can be food stuffs, water, clothing, household items and so on.

Pacific warned of food crisis

The report is the work of CSIRO and the Australian National University.

Published this week by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, or ACIAR, the report warns the pandemic is exacerbating existing threats to food security and has long-term implications for the Asia/Pacific region.

The Pacific already faced challenges from climate change and destructive weather events, biosecurity threats, and difficulties with transport links, all of which had been heightened by pandemic.

Pacific nations security leaders share COVID-19 lessons

The Chief of the Defence Force General Angus Campbell AO DSC, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece P Kershaw APM, and Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram APM, joined security leaders from 24 nations and territories, and five regional bodies for the strategic-level dialogue.

The themes for the event focused on responding to the collective challenge of COVID-19 in the areas of border security, maritime security, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) and how to become better than the sum of our parts.

NZ horticulture sector hopeful of bringing Pacific workers back

Along with viticulture, the sector's usual system of employing Pacific Islanders under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme has been disrupted by the pandemic.

Pipfruit New Zealand's Trade Policy and Strategy spokesman Gary Jones says his sector is three or four thousand workers short.

He said growers believed they should be able to bring in workers from covid-free countries.

Jones said plans were in place to ensure workers who come for the seasonal work could get back home again.

Vice reaches out to young Pacific climate activistsVice reaches out to young Pacific climate activists

The International Committe of the Red Cross is teaming up with the Vice Media Company to run the summit.

Head of the Red Cross in the Pacific, Vincent Ochilet said the summit's workshop would lead to the creation of climate change content for Vice.

"At the end of the workshop there will be what we call the mentorship programme where the best application will receive a grant to create a story, documentary, or photo series published by Vice."

Ochilet said activists between 18 and 25 should apply as soon as possible.

     

'Covid-19 doesn't discriminate, and neither should we' - Komiti Pasefika

Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath, co-head of the School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland, is a specialist in mental health and well-being among Pacific people.

Tiatia-Seath urged Pacific people to check-in on family, friends, colleagues, students as it was important during these extraordinary times.

"Through my work around suicide prevention, it has always been a key message to check in on each other and that was born from siblings checking in on each other once they have lost a loved on to suicide."

Tuna tagging expedition to gauge Pacific fishery's health

The seven week research mission monitors the health of the largest tuna fishery in the world, which is vital to the economic well-being of the Pacific.

SPC principal fisheries scientist Simon Nicol said the expedition would gauge whether various tuna species were being fished sustainably.

Its findings will be added to data collected over 15 years of tagging surveys, Dr Nicol said.

UAE sends medical aid to Pacific Island countries in fight against COVID-19

The countries include Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Cook Islands, and Niue.

Commenting on the delivery, Abdulla Al Subousi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the UAE to Australia, said, "Today’s aid shipment to Pacific island countries reflects the UAE’s continued efforts to support and stand by these countries to contain the spread of COVID-19 by providing critical medical supplies and protection to strengthen the efforts of healthcare personnel."

ChildFund, NZ govt target Pacific youth well-being

The $US7.3 million 'Impact programme,' to which New Zealand's foreign ministry will contribute about $US5.6 million, targets children, youth and their families in

Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Solomon Islands over the next five years.

ChildFund New Zealand's chief executive Paul Brown said he was "very pleased" 18 months spent developing a proposal for the ministry's "negotiated partnership scheme" had come to fruition.