Tag Archives: Pacific

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.

#                           #                            #

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

COVID-19: Human development on course to decline this year for the first time since 1990

Global human development – which can be measured as a combination of the world’s education, health and living standards could decline this year for the first time since the concept was introduced in 1990, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) warned. Concerted action with a focus on equity could still limit the impacts of this unprecedented crisis: closing the digital divide would reduce by more than two-thirds the number of children currently not learning because of school closures. More

Preventing corruption, a priority during COVID-19

Adopting comprehensive auditing, oversight, accountability and reporting mechanisms to monitor the disbursement process is one of the key recommendations  to prevent corruption in the Pacific during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, according to a new advisory note from the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project. More

Youth on the Climate Front Lines of the Pacific Islands

Youth are leading the charge against climate change in Pacific island countries that are especially vulnerable to its damaging effects. In Fiji, Vanuatu and Tuvalu, the tropical environment faces cyclones and other threats. Young people respond with an urgent call for the world to act.

Watch LIVE the Climate Action Summit 2019
Starting 21 September – 23 September on UN WebTV: http://webtv.un.org
Category

Young People From the Pacific Call for Action On Our Global Climate Emergency

In the lead up to the Climate Action Summit on 23 September 2019, to raise ambition and increase climate action, UNIC Canberra in partnership with Australian National University (ANU) Climate Change Institute (CCI) and the Pacific Missions in Canberra organised a public lecture called “UN Climate Action Summit 2019: A Pacific Youth Talanoa for greater ambition on climate change”, on 2 September 2019 at Kambri Cinema, ANU.

The Vice-Chancellor and the President and Chief Executive Officer of ANU, Prof Brian Schmidt, delivered the welcome remarks and expressed his solidarity with the UN Secretary General and with the Pacific neighbours in their call to governments around the world to increase their ambition on climate change. Prof Schmidt noted that ANU researchers, economists and several interdisciplinary teams were working to explore mechanisms for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which would not only help tackle climate change, but also create new economic opportunities, support regional communities, improve health outcomes and protect biodiversity.

Nai Jit Lam, UNHCR Deputy Regional Representative delivered the introductory remarks and highlighted that concrete climate action outcomes can be achieved through partnerships and greater political will, together with the intelligence and passion of our youth.

Continue reading

Significant Addition to the Pacific – First International Emergency Medical Team Announced in Fiji

Audio Interview

Fiji’s Emergency Medical team (FEMAT) is now ready for International Deployment becoming the first team in the Pacific accredited with this unique capability.

As a result, disaster and other medical emergency situations have gained significant assistance thanks to the partnership between the World Health Organisation and the governments of Fiji, Australia and New Zealand.

With 11 disasters and 26 outbreaks during 2018 in the Pacific alone, this mobile and self-sufficient team with its medical expertise, infrastructure and supplies will save lives in Fiji, the Pacific and elsewhere internationally.

UNIC Canberra spoke to Sean Casey, WHO Pacific Health Cluster Coordinator, who was in Vanuatu this week, and started by asking him about the nature of the teams.

Secretary-General’s Remarks During Joint Press Encounter with Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sosene Sopoaga Funafuti

17 May 2019

I want to express my very deep solidarity and admiration in relation to the people and the government of Tuvalu.

You are on the frontline of the war on climate change because climate change is striking in Tuvalu in a more dramatic way than anywhere else in the world.

I have enormous admiration for how you have decided to resist and you are implementing a programme of adaptation and resilience that is something that the whole world should admire and support. But it’s necessary that governments that are still causing the problems that affect Tuvalu understand that they need to change. They need to change their energy policies, their transportation policies, the way they manage their cities, the way they are using fossil fuels so that the impact of climate change on Tuvalu can be stopped. Climate change cannot be stopped in Tuvalu it has to be stopped in the rest of the world.

We will be fighting during our Summit in New York to make sure that all countries accept the commitment that we need to be globally carbon neutral by 2050 to limit the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees.

At the same time, I want to express my deep solidarity and the total support from the United Nations to the government and to the people of Tuvalu in your determined efforts to preserve your country – physically, culturally, in the economic and social dimensions, as a rich component of the Pacific and the international community.

Thank you.

United Nations Secretary-General Official Visit to the Pacific

Secretary-General’s remarks to Māori and Pasifika youth at event hosted by James Shaw, New Zealand Minister for Climate Change Auckland, 13 May 2019

Dear friends, it is an enormous pleasure to be here with some of the members of Generation Zero representing the very important leadership that youth around the world is providing to make sure that we are able to reach our central objective: not to have more than 1.5 degrees of increasing temperature at the end of the century.

The international community , and especially the scientific community, has been very clear that to reach this goal we absolutely need to have carbon neutrality by 2050. I’m extremely grateful to the leadership of New Zealand in this regard and extremely grateful to the leadership to the youth in New Zealand in this regard.

I’m confident that youth around the world will be able to convey to their governments a very clear message which is the message that I would like to convey here from the Pacific.

First, shift taxes from salaries to carbon. We must tax pollution not people.

Second stop subsidies to fossil fuels. Taxpayers’ money should not be used to boost hurricanes, to spread drought and heat waves, to bleach corals or to melt glaciers.

Finally, stop the construction of new coal plants by 2020. We want a green economy not a grey economy in the world.

It is very important that around the world young people, civil society and those that in the business community have understood that the green economy is the economy of the future and the grey economy has no future, it’s very important that you convince governments that they must act because there’s still a lot of resistance.

I went to Katowice not one, but three times, and I felt that resistance. Governments are still afraid to move forward. They feel the costs of climate action forgetting that the costs of inaction are much bigger than any costs of climate action. It’s very good to see – as we know, that nature does not negotiate – it’s very good to see youth in the frontline and I’m delighted to be with you here today and to learn from you, what you want us to do.

Thank you very much for your presence and it’s very important that your own government recognizes you’re a very important influence in what has been the exemplary New Zealand leadership in this regard.