Category Archives: News

Solidarity through song: Fijian musician hails Pacific Unite Concert

Pacific communities are coming together through song and music in just a few hours’ time, to help beat back the coronavirus pandemic and assist vulnerable nations in the region build a better future.The Pacific Unite Concert, on Saturday, will be paying tribute to essential workers for their lifesaving effort, and supporting all islanders to play their part in preventing transmission.

One of the musicians taking part is Mia Kami, from Fiji, who’s also a climate change activist with the 350.org international grassroots movement. She spoke to Julia Dean from our UN Country Team in Australia, about what she hoped the concert would achieve. Audio

WHO chief calls for solidarity in financing, ensuring equal access to future COVID-19 vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that six months after first sounding the international alarm over COVID-19, the UN agency is now intensely focused on shepherding global vaccine candidates through the necessary trials, and guaranteeing rapid, fair and equitable access to them for all countries. More

Delivering Vital Medical Supplies, Humanitarian Air Service Boosts COVID-19 Response Efforts in the Pacific

Press Release

6 August 2020

NADI, Fiji – Countries and territories of the Pacific Islands and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) reached a milestone today with the launch of the humanitarian air service in the region. The first flight, from Nadi, Fiji to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, completed this morning, delivered 44 cubic metres of essential medical supplies that will be used in the Government of Papua New Guinea’s response to COVID-19.

The supplies, including protective masks, suits and gloves, thermometers, and ventilators were transported on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, in support of the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19 – a regional coordination platform established by the 18 countries of the Forum to facilitate timely and rapid movement of medical and humanitarian assistance across the region.

“The humanitarian air service flights are a welcome demonstration that the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19 is doing what leaders intended – protecting citizens and supporting health systems,” said Dame Meg Taylor, Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General. “We welcome continued partnership and support as the Pathway provides a mechanism led by and for Pacific nations to help meet their needs while respecting COVID-19 border shutdowns, special entry protocols and safety for our Pacific nations.”

The closure of airports and grounding of aircrafts as a result of COVID-19 prevention measures has dramatically reduced commercial air services, placing stress on the region’s supply chains and making it increasingly challenging for humanitarian and health organizations to get vital supplies and personnel to where they are needed most.

“For the countries and territories of the Pacific islands, air and sea transport is nothing short of a lifeline,” said Jo Pilgrim, Director of WFP Pacific Multi-Country Office. “WFP is proud to be working with Pacific Island governments and humanitarian partners to restore certainty to the supply chain and ensure the delivery of urgently-required medical supplies to the frontlines of the pandemic. I would like to thank our donors, including the Government of Australia for their continued support to WFP’s operations in the Pacific, and for making this air service a reality.”

The Pacific humanitarian air service is part of the greater Pacific Humanitarian Team COVID-19 Response Plan – a comprehensive regional response plan that seeks to consolidate efforts by UN agencies, governments, regional and multilateral organizations, NGOs, donors and development partners.

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The Pacific Islands Forum is the region’s premier political and economic policy organisation. Founded in 1971, the Forum’s 18 member nations work towards a vision of a region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity so that all Pacific people can lead free, healthy, and productive lives.

Follow us on Twitter @ForumSEC or Facebook @Pacific.Islands.Forum

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media @wfp_AsiaPacific 

For more information please contact:
WFP: Monica Salvitti, WFP/Pacific, monica.salvitti@wfp.org + 61 400 406 886
Kun Li, WFP/Bangkok, kun.li@wfp.org +66 84 555 8994

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat: Lisa Williams-Lahari- Auckland, media@forumsec.org,
+64 210642704

Breastfeeding ‘for a healthier planet’

World Breastfeeding Week got underway on Saturday, with the UN urging communities everywhere to “support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”. Health agency (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) issued a joint call for governments to protect and promote women’s access to skilled breastfeeding counselling – a critical component of breastfeeding support. More

No end in sight to COVID crisis, and its impact will last for ‘decades to come’

Expressing “appreciation for WHO and partners’ COVID-19 pandemic response efforts”, the emergency committee convened by the UN health agency’s chief, made it clear that there is not yet an end in sight to the public health crisis that has so far infected more than 17 million and killed over 650,000 people. More

Its Time To Recognise The Critical Contribution Nurses And Midwives Make To Global Health!

“Women-centred care is vital and the strong bond that I form with the woman is an essential part of their experience.”

“During my own pregnancy and birth journey, I was in awe of the midwives who cared for me; they were such positive, passionate professionals. From this moment, I knew that I wanted to be ‘that person’ for someone else”, said Adele Close, a Registered Nurse/Midwife from Calvary Lenah Valley, Tasmania.

Adele became a Midwife after 15 years of working in advertising/design industry. She says that during the COVID-19 pandemic, midwives are so privileged to be part of a newborn’s first few days of life, often before grandparents and siblings have even met their new addition. These are unique circumstances, and Adele feels honoured to support these families as they adjust to their new lives during these unprecedented times.

Adele enjoys the flexibility that this profession offers as it gives her the opportunity to be involved in my children’s schooling and extra curricula activities and ensures she keeps fit by playing hockey and walking with her family.

This year the World Health Organisation has declared 2020 as the International Year of Nurses and Midwives and we at UNIC Canberra are deeply appreciative for the opportunity to email- interview some of the healthcare workers from Calvary, a Health, Community and Aged Care provider across Australia, who spoke to us about what inspired them to take nursing as a profession, how they balance work and personal life, their COVID-19 stories of ingenuity and advice to the younger generation.