Pacific

NZ to donate more vaccines to COVAX

The Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said the latest donation to COVAX will also support vaccination programmes in developing countries, including in parts of the Pacific and in Africa where immunisation rates are low.

New Zealand is contributing a further 7.3 million vaccines to COVAX including 5.8 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and 1.5 million doses of Janssen vaccine.

Through New Zealand's Advance Purchase Agreement (APA) with Pfizer, paediatric vaccine doses are also being provided to countries in Polynesia.

Vaccine inequity in the Pacific: 'We need to support our neighbours'

People in developing nations are generally missing out due to accessibility issues, a slow roll out of vaccines, difficulties getting to remote areas, a lack health of resources and misinformation resulting in vaccine hesitancy.

But ChildFund director of programmes Quenelda Clegg said developed countries need to support the Pacific and also stop hoarding vaccines.

The organisation has been raising awareness about vaccine inequity and the issues happening in the Pacific.

Tongan tsunami felt around the Pacific

The series of volcanic eruptions were also heard in Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, and Cook Islands.

Multiple communities in Fiji experienced surges soon after the tsunami and warnings were generated following the eruption again of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai seamount volcano.

Video footage from Samoa and the Cook Islands showed similar activity.

Tonga remains the hardest hit with destruction of homes, vehicles and infrastructure.

Parts of New Zealand were under tsunami advisory after the violent eruption of the underwater volcano.

Pasifika critical of proposed changes to kava regulation

The food and drink regulator is calling for public comment on proposed changes to the food standard regulating kava use which it said would clarify the original intent of the kava standard, and limit its preparation and consumption to traditional use.

A kava health expert in New Zealand Apo Aporosa said the regulator's proposed changes are just the latest in a long list of questionable regulatory requirements for kava.

China offers increased fisheries presence, IUU cooperation to Pacific island nations

During a recent meeting of the China-Pacific Island Countries Fishery Cooperation and Development Forum, held in Guangzhou, China, Ma Youxiang, the deputy minister of fisheries at China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said China stands ready to cooperate on finding solutions to problems related to illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, proposing the establishment of an “intergovernmental multilateral fishery consultation mechanism.”

New vaccine programme aims to reach 100 thousand Pacific kids

The three-year programme, which is part of a partnership between the charity Rotary and UNICEF, the UN children's agency, involves delivering vaccines for rotavirus and pneumococcal disease, while teenage girls will also be immunised to protect them from cervical cancer.

 

The vaccine rollout will run in Nauru, as well as Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue and Palau.

 

Work has started in Nauru, where Mizuli Apadinuwe's 14-year old daughter received the human papillomavirus vaccine that protects against cervical cancer.

 

Transparency says Pacific corruption survey invaluable

The Pacific has been included in Transparency latest global corruption barometer with a survey of more than 6,000 people from more ten Pacific countries.

It revealed rampant corruption in a number of Pacific states, with the survey participants revealing cases of bribery, vote buying and sexual extortion are common experiences.

Regional advisor, Mariam Mathew, said more needs to be done but this first initial information is invaluable.

China to create fund to help Pacific Island countries defeat COVID-19

Wang made the remarks at the first China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Beijing via video link.

He said the bilateral relationship between China and the Pacific Island countries has shown a good development momentum, and the comprehensive strategic partnership has continued to deepen.

Relations between the two sides are based on mutual respect and equity, Wang said.

Double dip La Nina forecast for Pacific summer

La Niña is the phenomenon where the trade winds become stronger, warming waters in the Western Pacific and causing the sea surface temperatures in the Central and Eastern Pacific to cool.

These conditions can mean cooler and above normal rainfall in the west compared to the eastern Pacific.

Climate models and prediction tools used by Pacific National Meteorological and Hydrological services (NMHSs) show this phenomenon is likely this summer.

Child stunting from malnutrition could increase in Pacific in wake of Covid, experts warn

The loss of work and skyrocketing food prices, brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, could lead to an increase in child stunting in the Pacific, experts have warned.

A new report from World Vision, released today, found that 60% of people in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste having lost their job or main source of income due to the pandemic and that this had had a serious impact on the health of children.