Posted by Richard Edwards
Climate change is already impacting the people of the Pacific. In Papua New Guinea, families are struggling to access water and put food on the table because of a severe drought. In Samoa, the owner of a modest beachfront resort has watched for years as her property erodes, with storm surges and flooding battering the shore, pulling her property toward the sea.
These are just a few of the courageous people I have met in the few months since I became the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Regional Coordinator for the Pacific.
As many as 4.7 million people in 13 Pacific countries (2.4 million in PNG and the total populations of the remaining Pacific nations) are at risk of adverse effects of drought including water shortages, food insecurity and disease.
Governments are taking measures to mitigate the potential impacts of the drought. The government is delivering water to drought affected areas in Fiji.
The Vanuatu government is delivering food to affected communities especially those affected by Tropical cyclone Pam.
• A strong El Niño is now in force with some climatologists warning it could rival the 1997/98 event which was the most severe on record.
• In an El Niño year, the cyclone season usually runs longer and features a greater proportion of severe cyclones forming over a larger area.
• Up to 13 Pacific countries could be affected by El Niño-related drought, placing as many as 4.7 million people at risk.
The University of the South Pacific hopes a new research centre dedicated to atoll research will help save low-lying islands from rising sea levels.
Read the full article on Radio New Zealand International
As many as 4.7 million people in 11 Pacific countries (2.4 million in PNG and the total populations of the remaining Pacific nations) are at risk of adverse effects of drought including water shortages, food insecurity and disease. Governments are taking measures to mitigate the potential impacts of the drought. The government is delivering water to drought affected areas in Fiji. The Vanuatu government is delivering food to affected communities especially those affected by Tropical cyclone Pam.
The Kiribati Red Cross is travelling to the southern island of Tamana for the next stage of its assistance to locals still recovering from Cyclone Pam.
By Stephen Howes
This week, senior Labor politicians – Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, deputy Tanya Plibersek and Immigration spokesman Richard Marles – are visiting the Pacific Island countries of Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands and Kiribati.
It must be one of the highest-level government or opposition delegations from Australia to the Pacific. Labor leaders are to be commended for the interest they are showing in our immediate region.
The gFSC global dashboard provides a quick snapshot of the country-level Food Security Clusters around the world. The updated dasboard shows that as of October 2015, the country-level Food Security Clusters remain only at 52 percent funded against their yearly requirements
Suva, Fiji – National Disaster Management officers from 15 Pacific Island countries gather in Fiji today to review their successes and challenges in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters in the region, suchas tropical cyclone Pam.
The European Union-supported Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific (BSRP) project is bringing the disaster managers together for the project’s annual Regional Steering Committee implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) to review the challenges, progress and best way forward into 2016.
Issued on the 16th October 2015
A strong El Niño is currently in place with wide and varying impacts across the Pacific Islands region(see map, appended). El Niño will continue to have a significant influence on the climate and ocean in most parts of the Pacific Islands region for the remainder of 2015 and much of 2016.
El Niño Status and Outlook:
C’est dans les pays à faible revenu que les taux de lavage des mains sont les plus faibles
NEW YORK, 15 octobre 2015 – Le lavage des mains avec du savon se situe à un niveau dangereusement faible dans de nombreux pays, malgré les preuves de ses bienfaits pour la santé des enfants, affirme l’UNICEF.
Las tasas de lavado de manos son inferiores en los países de bajos ingresos
NUEVA YORK, 15 de octubre de 2015 – A pesar de sus beneficios demostrados para la salud infantil, la práctica de lavarse las manos con jabón se encuentra en un nivel peligrosamente bajo en muchos países, según informa UNICEF.
Handwashing rates lowest in low-income countries
NEW YORK, 15 October 2015 – Handwashing with soap is dangerously low in many countries, UNICEF reports, despite its proven benefits to child health.
The eighth Global Handwashing Day comes less than a month after the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, including hygiene for the first time in the global agenda. One of the SDG targets is to achieve ‘access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene’ by 2030.
Lima - Finance Ministers of the Vulnerable Twenty (V20), representing close to 700 million people threatened by climate change and spanning world regions, held their inaugural meeting on 8 October 2015 in Lima, Peru. They announced a series of actions to foster greater investment in climate resiliency and low emissions development at home and internationally.
In this issue you will find the following articles:
· Welcome to new staff
· SPC supports response to TC Pam in Vanuatu
· Federated States of Micronesia reviews management lessons from typhoons disaster risk
· New Pacific fire reduction strategy developed at the Pacific Islands Fire and Emergency Service Association meeting
· Pacific Islands at the World Conference for DRR in Japan
· New tools to increase resilience of Pacific Island countries to natural disasters
The following syndromes have been flagged:
Diarrhoea: Cook Islands, Guam
Influenza-Like illness: Guam, Nauru, Tonga
Tuvalu: Seven samples sent to the Institut Lois Malarde, French Polynesia have tested RT-PCR positive for Chikungunya.
As of 27 September 2015; there have been 1317 cases since February 2015 in Marshall Islands. There were 3 cases for the month of September. The number of cases is decreasing.
March-April 2015: Tropical Cyclone Pam developed in the East of Solomon Islands on 6 March and gained strength as it moved south towards Vanuatu. Heavy rain, strong winds and sea swell, combined with king tides, caused widespread coastal flooding and wind damage. Pam hit Vanuatu as a Category 5 cyclone on 13 March.
At least four million people in the Pacific face hunger, water shortages and risk of disease this year and next due to droughts and erratic rains, influenced by climate change and the likely development of a ‘super El Niño’.