Islands move quickly on Covid-19 vaccine outreach

On a per capita basis, the islands have higher vaccine rates than many states in the US, said the Marshall Islands Health Secretary in Majuro.

In the first 10 days since receiving a small number of doses to start, the Marshall Islands injected first vaccines to over 600 healthcare workers and front line government employees who work in sea and airports.

The US government is providing the Moderna brand Covid-19 vaccines to the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.

Digicel promises customers simply more in 2021

Since its launch in Samoa in 2006, Digicel has been the key driver in the telecommunications revolution in the Pacific ensuring everyone, everywhere can be connected to, and benefit from, transformational communications services.

With its successful relaunch in October as a Digital Operator delivering 1440 minutes of digital experiences every day, all day, Digicel debuted its Digicel Prime Bundles which offer its suite of apps covering everything from sports, music and news to local radio, podcasts, messaging, marketplaces and cloud storage.

Covid-19 impacts on Pacific business improving slightly - report

In its Pacific Business Monitor, the commission said the top three challenges for the Pacific as a result of Covid-19, remained poor cashflow, impact of closed international borders and not knowing how long the crisis would last.

Ninety percent of businesses said poor cashflow, 89 percent closed borders and 88 percent, for not knowing how long the pandemic will last.

But Trade Commissioner Caleb Jarvis said the extent and severity of impacts may be beginning to improve with 79 percent Fiji businesses reporting a negative impact - the lowest since tracking began.

As govts scramble for Covid vaccines, don't forget the Pacific

Over the past few weeks, companies Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen Pharmaceutica have released results of significantly effective vaccines in preventing the virus.

But what does this mean for smaller nations who may not have the financial ability to be first in first served

The question of equitable and affordable access to vaccines for all countries is a matter of major importance to Doctors Without Borders

A push to have donors send more responsible aid to the Pacific

Much of the aid sent is food or clothing from well meaning, generous people, but if it is unsolicited it can end up sitting on wharves, deteriorating, and then having to be thrown away.

As another cyclone seasons begins in the Pacific the World Food Programme is calling on people to donate responsibly.

The director of the WFP in the Pacific, Jo Pilgrim, said this unsolicited aid, arriving by the container load, or in cartons, can be food stuffs, water, clothing, household items and so on.

Pacific warned of food crisis

The report is the work of CSIRO and the Australian National University.

Published this week by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, or ACIAR, the report warns the pandemic is exacerbating existing threats to food security and has long-term implications for the Asia/Pacific region.

The Pacific already faced challenges from climate change and destructive weather events, biosecurity threats, and difficulties with transport links, all of which had been heightened by pandemic.

Pacific nations security leaders share COVID-19 lessons

The Chief of the Defence Force General Angus Campbell AO DSC, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece P Kershaw APM, and Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram APM, joined security leaders from 24 nations and territories, and five regional bodies for the strategic-level dialogue.

The themes for the event focused on responding to the collective challenge of COVID-19 in the areas of border security, maritime security, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) and how to become better than the sum of our parts.

NZ horticulture sector hopeful of bringing Pacific workers back

Along with viticulture, the sector's usual system of employing Pacific Islanders under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme has been disrupted by the pandemic.

Pipfruit New Zealand's Trade Policy and Strategy spokesman Gary Jones says his sector is three or four thousand workers short.

He said growers believed they should be able to bring in workers from covid-free countries.

Jones said plans were in place to ensure workers who come for the seasonal work could get back home again.

Vice reaches out to young Pacific climate activistsVice reaches out to young Pacific climate activists

The International Committe of the Red Cross is teaming up with the Vice Media Company to run the summit.

Head of the Red Cross in the Pacific, Vincent Ochilet said the summit's workshop would lead to the creation of climate change content for Vice.

"At the end of the workshop there will be what we call the mentorship programme where the best application will receive a grant to create a story, documentary, or photo series published by Vice."

Ochilet said activists between 18 and 25 should apply as soon as possible.


'Covid-19 doesn't discriminate, and neither should we' - Komiti Pasefika

Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath, co-head of the School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland, is a specialist in mental health and well-being among Pacific people.

Tiatia-Seath urged Pacific people to check-in on family, friends, colleagues, students as it was important during these extraordinary times.

"Through my work around suicide prevention, it has always been a key message to check in on each other and that was born from siblings checking in on each other once they have lost a loved on to suicide."