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 2007 and FY 2016, 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.
27SM Niue News: 2015 SPREP Annual Report is now launched
The SPREP Annual Report for 2015 is now available online having been presented at the 27th SPREP Meeting in Niue on Day one. The Report, available in both English and French outlines the activities and project implemented with members and partners in 2015 as the region strives to achieve the SPREP vision - a Pacific environment that sustains our livelihoods and natural heritage in harmony with our cultures.
Pacific island countries are working hard to address the escalating realities of climate change, including the impact on land, livelihoods, and on the food and water security of their most vulnerable communities. The need for accessible, predictable, adequate and appropriate financial support to meet the climate crisis is urgent and growing.
“The UN Constitutional” team is pleased to present the fifth issue of its newsletter featuring articles by constitutional experts, reports from the field, and a digest of recent constitutions-related publications. In this edition, we interviewed the former Nepali Constituent Assembly chair on his role in this unique process. We also explore the importance of ‘context’ in constitutional assistance efforts, and consider the links between the SDGs and gender equality provisions in constitutions.
A United Nations Development Programme-commissioned project to build a 500-metre-long seawall is underway on the Tuvalu atoll of Nukufetau.
Read the full article on Radio New Zealand International
Funafuti, Tuvalu: Coastal fishery stocks have sustained island communities for generations in Tuvalu but is under increasing pressure due to the impacts of climate change and unsustainable fishing practices.
An assessment conducted by the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Tuvalu Department of Fishery in 2013, found that important fish species and sea cucumbers in Funafuti waters had decreased. About 83% of respondents claimed they felt their catches had decreased compared to five years ago and 67% of respondents claimed sizes of fish had decrease compared to five years ago.
Pacific syndromic surveillance report
Week 31, ending 7 August 2016
The following syndromes have been flagged:
Climate Change Matters.
The month of July has brought new and expanding partnerships for SPREP as you will read between SPREP and the Australian Government’s key research institution: the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and a second with German Government’s international aid agency (GIZ). We are working together to strengthen support to Pacific island countries’ national efforts to tackle climate change and ultimately improve their overall resilience.
Over 20 health professionals from all six provinces of Vanuatu are in Port-Vila this week to scale up public health surveillance with the Pacific Data for Decision-Making (DDM) training programme.
The week-long training is jointly organised by Vanuatu Ministry of Health and the Pacific Community (SPC) as part of the recovery activities in response to Cyclone Pam project funded by the German Development Bank (KfW).
The Asia-Pacific region is one of the most disaster-prone areas in the world, with frequently occurring natural disasters including earthquakes, tsunamis, tropical storms, flooding, landslides and volcanic eruptions affecting millions of people every year.
The Pacific Community is working with the Government of Tuvalu this week to formulate the country’s first national action plan for human rights which brings together Tuvalu’s existing commitments under the Universal Periodic Review, ratified Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and provides a timeframe for action across these human rights issues.
TC Winston Highlights
The Fijian Government has placed the total cost of damages at US$1.4 billion (approximately one third of Fiji’s annual GDP)
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) hosted an inter-cluster meeting to address the significant, ongoing needs on Koro Island
More than 23,000 people in 120 villages have been reached through eight weeks of integrated family health mobile outreach activities supported by the MoHMS, UNICEF, UNFPA and WHO
Foreword About 6.9 million people in Pacific island countries cannot access improved sanitation. More than 4.8 million cannot access improved water supplies. The United Nations General Assembly recognizes water and sanitation as basic human rights. The General Assembly has called upon governments and international organizations to provide financial resources, build capacity and technology transfer to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking-water and sanitation for all (UN Resolution A/RES/64/292).
Anote Tong, former President of the Republic of Kiribati
Climate change poses the most significant moral challenge to the global community and an existential threat to the future of many communities worldwide. With the projected rise in sea levels by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of up to one metre within the century, the most vulnerable coastal communities and low-lying island states — several of which are in Pacific — face the real possibility of their islands and communities being submerged well within the next hundred years.
The following syndromes have been flagged:
· Acute Fever and Rash: Tokelau
· Diarrhoea: Fiji, Vanuatu
· Influenza-like Illness: American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu
· Prolonged fever: Solomon Islands
Third International Health Regulation Emergency Committee meeting on Zika
A new early warning system to be introduced in Tuvalu next month aims to help outlying communities better prepare for natural disasters.
The US made Chatty Beetle technology is able to send and receive short data messages to the internet over the Iridium satellite network anywhere in the World.
Read the full story here.
Why a regional focus model?
A key challenge faced by humanitarian agencies is how to ensure that limited available resources are allocated where they are most needed and are efficiently delivered in a principled manner. Decisions to allocate resources must strike a balance between meeting the immediate needs of crisis affected communities and supporting efforts to strengthen resilience and response preparedness to future emergencies.
New Zealand aid money going into the Pacific is making a real difference, but there are still huge challenges in the region, Foreign Minister Murray McCully says.
McCully has just led the annual Pacific Mission, which visited Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Tuvalu.
Kiribati and Tuvalu are grappling with sea-level rise as a result of climate change, but they also have other critical problems.
Kiribati's tiny main island of Tarawa suffers chronic overcrowding and a lack of resources.
Climate change is now recognised as a factor driving the movement of people around the world.
Internationally, migration, displacement and human mobility are recognized in the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage, and further reinforced through the Paris Agreement in 2015. As Pacific Island countries increasingly experience the effects of climate change, more Pacific governments will need to consider options for dealing with human mobility.
28 MILLION PEOPLE FORCIBLY DISPLACED BY CONFLICT AND DISASTERS IN 2015 AND MILLIONS MORE STILL INVISIBLE: IDMC NEW REPORT HIGHLIGHTS GLOBAL CRISIS OF INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT
Conflict, violence and disasters internally displaced 27.8 million people in 2015, subjecting a record number of men, women and children to the trauma and upheaval of being forcibly displaced within their own country.