Recurrent earthquakes, floods, typhoons, and volcanoes present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in the East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region. Some countries also face civil unrest and associated humanitarian impacts, as well as limited government capacity to respond to disasters. Between FY 2006 and FY 2015, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a diverse range of natural and complex emergencies in the region.
What is El Niño?
• 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.
By Pita Ligaiula in Niue
The United States today announced a US$5 million climate change project for the Pacific in the next five years.
The announcement was made by US Ambassador to Fiji, Judith Beth Cefkin at the Pacific Community (SPC) Conference underway in Alofi.
“The US is very committed to work with fellow members of the Pacific Community to increase resilience of the peoples of the Pacific particularly adapting to and mitigating global climate change and promoting sustainable inclusive economic development
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
The President of the Republic of Marshall Islands, His Excellency Christopher Loeak, today officially opened the Coastal Causeway Project in Woja Island, Ailinglaplap, as part of the country's efforts to build resilience to climate change.
The project has involved constructing a rock causeway combined with soft engineering measures, such as tree planting, to strengthen the vulnerable and narrow road link between the two parts of Woja Island.
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.
Suva, Fiji, 29 October 2015
Two hundred people involved in disaster response across the region are gathered in Suva for the annual Pacific Humanitarian Partnership meeting where the impact of disasters on women and children has been on the agenda today.
The meeting was addressed by HRH Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan on the role of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) programs in building resilience to disaster and climate change.
Marshall Islands foreign minister Tony de Brum failed to attend this week’s key climate change talks in Morroco due to climate change related storm that affected the Pacific nation.
This week’s INDC Ministerial Forum in Morocco and next week’s final round of officials-level negotiations in Bonn is to discuss a new international agreement on climate change, due to be adopted in Paris in mid-December
Last weekend’s high-level dialogue on climate-induced migration was held in Ambo, Kiribati. It provided a successful forum for discussing threats to Pacific atoll nations that lie at the forefront of climate change, particularly sea level rise.
A key outcome was that relocation from atoll nations is a response of last resort, rejecting the “climate refugee” connotation.
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.
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’.
Super El Niño and climate change cause crop failures putting millions at risk of hunger
At least ten million poor people face hunger this year and next due to both droughts and erratic rains influenced by climate change and the likely development of a ‘super El Niño’.
SUAVE, Fiji, 14 September 2015 - The United Nations is urging Pacific Islanders and their governments to prepare now for a looming El Niño emergency with the potential to affect more than four million people.
“Climatologists are now unanimous in predicting that we are heading for a strong to severe El Niño event in the coming months. Some modelling is now suggesting this El Niño could be as severe as the event in 1997/98 which is the worst on record and brought severe drought to PNG and Fiji,” United Nations Resident Coordinator, Osnat Lubrani said.
The Marshall Islands is on alert for what authorities there say could be the worst drought for more than a decade.
Read the full article on Radio New Zealand International.
The United Nations is urging Pacific Islanders and their governments to prepare now for a looming El Niño emergency with the potential to affect more than four million people.
“Climatologists are now unanimous in predicting that we are heading for a strong to severe El Niño event in the coming months. Some modelling is now suggesting this El Niño could be as severe as the event in 1997/98 which is the worst on record and brought drought to countries including Papua New Guinea and Fiji,” United Nations Resident Coordinator, Osnat Lubrani said.
The special needs of outer island communities must be considered in the planning and design of climate change adaptation projects.
That was a clear message stressed by participants at the Global Climate Change Alliance: Pacific Small Islands States (GCCA: PSIS) project’s ‘lessons learnt’ meeting that recently concluded in Yap State in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).