Aid agencies poised to help respond to 'humanitarian catastrophe' in Gaza - official

UNICEF's Middle East and North African spokesperson Saleem Oweis said the delivery of aid was much needed inside Gaza with no water, food and services. He said it was already shaping as a humanitarian catastrophe.

Israel has been carrying out attacks on Gaza in response to deadly raids that killed hundreds of people earlier this month.

A deadly blast at a Gaza hospital earlier this week has killed up to 500 people but no death toll has been confirmed.

Both the Israel government and Palestinian officials have blamed each other.

Dan Carter takes on 24-hour kickathon for charity

Returning to Eden Park to launch his dedicated fundraising platform in association with UNICEF, the DC10 fund, Carter is taking on a 24-hour kickathon.

He is aiming to knock 1598 kicks between the posts in a period of 24 hours - matching the total number of points the first-five notched in his All Black career.

Funds raised from the event will be put toward UNICEF's water sanitation and hygiene programme for children in the Pacific.


Samoa Govt recommended to lead child’s right to food and nutrition

That is a recommendation in a new report on child nutrition by the United Nations.

The report titled “Fed to Fail?” highlighted the international dietary crisis of early life and was released by the United Nations Children’s Fund on September.

“Governments, parliaments and development partners must position young children’s diets as a national development priority, and include commensurate financial resources in their budgets and investments,” stated the report. 

UNICEF supports roll out vaccines against infectious diseases and cervical cancer for Pacific children


The deployment of the three vaccines is part of the US$29.7 million System Strengthening for Effective Coverage of New Vaccines in the Pacific Project, which is supporting the introduction of these vaccines in Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

Financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the vaccine project was originally established to support the procurement of rotavirus, pneumococcal conjugate, and human papilloma virus vaccines through the United Nations Children's Fund.

Japan and UNICEF partnerships support cold chain in Samoa for Covid-19 vaccines deployment

With the assistance, Samoa will be able to procure medical equipment including ultra-low temperature freezers.

“Japan is very much committed to assist the Government of Samoa’s preparatory and response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a part of the international concerted efforts, we are glad to have this opportunity to support the Government of Samoa through UNICEF to provide transportation as ‘last one-mile support’ to ensure vaccination in Samoa,” said Genichi Terasawa, Japan’s Ambassador to Samoa.

Effective outbreak response reduces the risk of measles spread in the Pacific

For Samoa, the country experienced a widescale measles outbreak which had significant impact upon the country’s population and health system.

The disease has cost lives, with infants and young children being most affected.

In response to the identification of measles in the region, many Pacific countries and areas have made serious efforts to close immunity gaps in their population and strengthen infectious disease prevention, surveillance and response systems.

Measles outbreaks due to 'complacency': UNICEF

In Samoa, 70 people have died and there are more than 4000 confirmed cases of the disease.

In Fiji, the number of confirmed cases is rising.

Mass vaccination campaigns have been underway in both countries.

UNICEF's chief of immunisation, Robin Nandy, said he was "deeply concerned and disappointed" by the situation in Samoa.

"We should not be seeing these sorts of outbreaks in 2019 when we've had a very inexpensive, safe and efficacious vaccine for several decades now.

UNICEF on Samoa measles outbreak: 'The situation is huge'

There are now 60 measles-related deaths, with children making up most of the fatalities.

There are also 174 people still in hospital including 18 critically-ill children.

UNICEF's representative for the Pacific, Sheldon Yett, said Samoa was a small country and with its limited resources, the measles outbreak was proving overwhelming.

UN agencies tell Pacific to vaccinate against measles

They said this should to happen before travelling internationally, attending major events or community gatherings.

Vaccination provided the best protection against measles and parents should get their children immunised, the agencies said.

In October, Samoa and Tonga both declared measles outbreaks.

Both UNICEF and the WHO said they were continuing to provide resources to Pacific states to respond to the measles threat.


Training and preparation underway in Samoa for restart of MMR vaccinations

The immunisation programme was suspended for several months after the deaths of two children last July following their MMR vaccinations.

Pacific Representative Sheldon Yett said public hesitancy was understandable after such an event, but active outreaches and community education was underway to try and lift the immunisation rates in Samoa.

He said the Samoan government was very eager to get the MMR vaccinations back up and running as current international measles outbreaks mean the introduction of the disease to the country could be just a plane ride away.