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21 Mar 2018 description

Today we are pleased to launch the Australia-Pacific BRIDGE School Partnerships program as part of our commitment to strengthening links with our neighbours in the Pacific.

20 Mar 2018 description

SUVA, 19 March 2018 – Government participants from ten countries in the Pacific region will work with experts this week from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Pacific Community (SPC) to strengthen data collection and planning to improve the lives of the most vulnerable families and children. 

20 Mar 2018 description
report Government of Fiji

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MOHMS) has been working closely with the Ministry of Education and World Health Organization (WHO) to address the recent outbreak of meningococcal disease at the St John’s College Cawaci in Levuka, Ovalau Island.

Meningococcal disease is a life threatening bacterial infection that usually causes inflammation on the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and/or blood poisoning (meningococcemia). Whilst the disease is not common, it is a very serious illness that can develop quickly and cause death.

13 Mar 2018 description
report Government of Tonga

Mangrove eco-systems around the region were the focus of talks in Suva, Fiji last week as regional representatives joined experts in discussing how the mangroves eco-systems can help reduce risks in the face of changing climate.

Hosted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the workshop combined government representatives from Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands, who joined the IUCN and three representatives from the ‘Mangroves for the Future’ in Asia and the ‘Global Mangrove Alliance’ partners.

08 Mar 2018 description
report Pacific Community

This International Women’s Day, a new EUR18.2 million regional programme to improve gender equality and address violence against women and girls is being announced.

The new Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls (Pacific Partnership) brings together governments, civil society organisations, communities and other partners to promote gender equality, prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG), and increase access to quality response services for survivors.

08 Mar 2018 description
report Government of Tonga

Parliaments throughout the Pacific including Australia and New Zealand with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have rallied behind the Tonga Legislative Assembly to ensure that the March sitting for Parliament goes ahead as planned.

The 100-year old Tonga Legislative Assembly chamber was destroyed when Tropical Cyclone Gita, struck Tonga in February. With the destruction of the building, conferencing facilities and other technical equipment that would facilitate debate amongst the Honourable Members were also destroyed.

07 Mar 2018 description

7 March 2018

Distinguished President,
Colleagues, Friends,

A few days ago, we celebrated the centenary year of Nelson Mandela’s birth. We spoke of his example; his fortitude, his suffering and compassion, while recalling also the declaration that he and my predecessor Mary Robinson signed in 2000 on diversity and tolerance.

03 Mar 2018 description
report Pacific Community

The newly refurbished Tavua District Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was opened today by the Assistant Minister for Rural and Maritime Development, National Disaster Management, and Meteorological Services, Honourable Joweli Cawaki.

21 Feb 2018 description

Cyclone Gita hit the Pacific island nations of Fiji and Tonga last week, causing widespread destruction and flooding in Tonga

By Charlotte Greenfield

WELLINGTON, Feb 20 (Reuters) - New Zealand's national carrier on Tuesday cancelled all flights in and out of the capital, Wellington, and the southern city of Christchurch declared a state of emergency as the remnants of tropical cyclone Gita pummelled the country.

Read more on the Thomson Reuters Foundation

21 Feb 2018 description

By Andy McElroy

SUVA, 20 February 2018 – The enduring wisdom of the Japanese geophysicist Torahiko Terada – a pioneer of earthquake studies almost a century ago – is inspiring a Pacific nation’s effort to strengthen its disaster risk governance.

Mr Terada’s famous maxim – ‘The next disaster will strike when the memory of the last one has been forgotten’ – is the very first sentence of Fiji’s National Disaster Risk Reduction Policy 2018-2030.

16 Feb 2018 description
  • Tropical Cyclone GITA continued moving south-southwest away from Fiji and Tonga. On 16 February at 0.00 UTC, it was located 230 km south-east of Mare island (New Caledonia) and had maximum sustained winds of 176 km/h.

  • GITA is forecast to weaken and pass approximately 100-150 km south of the islands of Koutoumo and Pins (New Caledonia) on 16 February morning UTC. It might then pass west of Norfolk Island on 18 February and could reach New Zealand on 20 February.

15 Feb 2018 description
  • Tropical Cyclone GITA continued moving south-southwest away from Fiji and Tonga. On 15 February at 0.00 UTC, it was located 460 km south-east of Aneityum island (Vanuatu) and had maximum sustained winds of 194 km/h.

  • GITA is forecast to pass approximately 300-350 km south of Tafea group of Islands (Vanuatu) on 15 February and 200-230 km south of New Caledonia on 16 February. Heavy rain, strong winds and storm surge could affect these areas. Local authorities in New Caledonia have issued a Tropical Cyclone pre-alert.

14 Feb 2018 description
report Government of Fiji

Severe Tropical Cyclone Gita (Severe TC Gita) intensified into a Category 5 (CAT5) system this morning and continues to move westward at 16km/hr. It is expected to gradually weaken as it tracks to southwest and away from Fiji.

Severe TC Gita was located near 21.2 degrees south latitude and 177.3 degrees east longitude or about 260 km south southwest of Kadavu at 3pm today and continues to move westsouthwest direction at about 15km/hr.

14 Feb 2018 description
  • Very strong winds, heavy rain and storm surge due to category 4 Tropical Cyclone GITA have affected the islands of 'Eua and Tongatapu (Tonga). GITA also passed close to Ono-I-Lau island (Fiji) on 13 February. On 14 February at 0.00 UTC, it was located 200 km south-west of Kandavu island and had maximum sustained winds of 213 km/h.
14 Feb 2018 description

Cyclone Gita strengthens again and heads for Vanuatu and New Caledonia after battering parts of southern Fiji with winds of nearly 200 kilometres per hour.

Cyclone Gita has been upgraded to a category five storm after battering parts of southern Fiji.

Residents on low-lying islands said several homes were flattened and crops were wiped out when the cyclone pounded their villages.

"We were afraid, we were terrified," Noah Sukanasau told the ABC's Pacific Beat program.

14 Feb 2018 description

Red Cross is assisting on the ground in Tonga and Samoa as Tropical Cyclone Gita moves towards Fiji.

Red Cross is helping communities prepare for Tropical Cyclone Gita in Fiji as teams in Tonga and Samoa assist people already affected by the storm.

Gita crossed Samoa as a category two cyclone, causing widespread flooding, before hitting Tonga on Monday night as a category four cyclone. It is expected to intensify and may reach category five before hitting Fiji’s southern islands tonight.

14 Feb 2018 description
report UN Children's Fund

SUVA, 13 February 2018 – As Tropical Cyclone Gita intensifies, the strongest storm to ever hit Tonga, and heads towards Fiji, UNICEF offers its support to the affected Pacific island countries of Samoa, Tonga and Fiji.

“UNICEF is ready to support the Governments of Tonga and Samoa respond to the emergencies caused by Tropical Cyclone Gita. We are also on standby to provide support to the Government of Fiji as they brace for Cyclone Gita,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Pacific Representative.

14 Feb 2018 description


Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand will contribute a further $1.5 million to help with the emergency response and early recovery efforts in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Gita.

“This additional funding will be directed to Tonga, Samoa and Fiji which have all felt the impact of the cyclone,” said Mr Peters.

“A picture of the extent of damage caused by Cyclone Gita is emerging and it is clear a big response and clean-up job lies ahead. We are here to help our neighbours get through this,” he said.

13 Feb 2018 description

Australia and New Zealand have flown emergency aid supplies to Tonga where the clean-up from Cyclone Gita has begun, and as the category-four storm intensifies and heads west towards nearby Fiji.

The Australian Government said it was sending $350,000 worth of emergency supplies to Tonga immediately.

The Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, told ABC Radio Australia's Pacific Beat Program the Royal Australian Air Force was flying the aid to Tonga on Tuesday night.

13 Feb 2018 description
report Government of Fiji


Severe TC Gita (Category 4) entered Fiji Waters this morning and passed just south of Ono-ilau at around 1.30pm this afternoon.

Hurricane force winds of 68 knots and maximum momentary gusts of 84 knots were recorded at Ono-i-lau at 2pm this afternoon as TC Gita tracked westward. Vanuabalavu also recorded strong and gusty winds (Table 1).