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Tonga aims to vaccinate 70 percent of population by the end of 2022

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Tonga's Prime Minister told the United Nations that Tonga aims to vaccinate up to 70 percent of its population by end of 2022. In a recorded speech, Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa told the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly on 25 September, Tonga’s response was to remain vigilant amid this global pandemic. “To date, approximately one third of the population have...

Kiribati launches PACER Plus partnership to boost agricultural exports

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Kiribati is set to benefit from technical support and sustainable economic development opportunities arising from participation in the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER Plus). This is after the Government of Kiribati launched its partnership with the Australian and New Zealand funded Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus Program (PHAMA Plus) programme to facilitate trade and market access...

$24.1bn assets: Fiji’s financial system remains sound – RBF

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Fiji’s financial system remains sound with total gross assets at $24.1billion (US$11.4 billion). The Reserve Bank of Fiji’s audited financial statements for the year ending 31 July, 2021 showed the bank recorded a net profit of $31.7million (US$15 million) for the 2020-2021 financial year, slightly higher than the $30.1m (US$14 million) in the preceding financial year. A statement from the bank...

Opinion: Does disallowing diversity data create an equitable Fiji?

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By Sadhana Sen The release of Fiji poverty data desegregated by ethnicity and religion by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics in its 2019-20 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES), resulted in the firing of its CEO last week. Kemueli Naiqama, was escorted from his office on 15 September. A Fiji government statement later that day said that the information published...

New modelling shows children born today set for more climate-induced disasters

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There are warnings that children born today can expect to live through up to 24 times more extreme weather events than their grandparents will have experienced, and there are dramatic predictions for those in the Pacific. The authors say their findings should serve as a catalyst to speed up international action on climate change. Researchers at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in...

PNG, Vanuatu leaders says the United Nations must assess human rights in West Papua

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Papua New Guinea's leader says the United Nations must assess human rights in West Papua as has been called for by the Pacific Islands Forum. There have been concerns for many years about human rights abuses in West Papua perpetrated by Indonesian security forces. The Forum membership has been asking for a team of human rights specialists to be sent in,...

Economic recovery in East Asia and Pacific faces setback

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The East Asia and Pacific region’s recovery has been undermined by the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, prolonging the distress for firms and households, likely slowing economic growth and increasing inequality, the World Bank said on Monday. Economic activity began to slow down in the second quarter of 2021, and growth forecasts have been downgraded for most countries in...

ADB, NZ, and Australia to help Government reform Solomon Islands’ tax system

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has joined with the governments of New Zealand and Australia to help Solomon Islands overhaul its tax system to expand and secure the country's revenue base. The US$20.1 million, five-year Domestic Resource Mobilisation Project will restructure Solomon Islands' Inland Revenue Division (IRD), install a new tax administration information system, train and upskill staff, and deliver...

Fiji macro poverty outlook: World Bank

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Eighteen months after the onset of the pandemic, tourism, the life blood of the economy, is still at a virtual standstill, trade flows are disrupted, and business activities are curtailed. As a result, the economy is expected to contract by a further 4.1 percent in 2021. The impact on livelihoods is severe and exacerbated by the frequent severe tropical...

Kiribati President says AUKUS nuclear submarine deal puts Pacific at risk

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The United Kingdom is a long way from the Pacific. But London is front and centre of moves to secure this region against the perceived China threat while Pacific Islands themselves complain they are sidelined. The AUKUS alliance has come as an unwelcome surprise to at least one Pacific leader. Kiribati President Taneti Maamau said he was not consulted. He has told...

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PINA welcomes Fijian Government’s review of current Media Laws in Fiji

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By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor President of the Pacific Islands News Association, Kora Nou today warmly welcomed the new Fijian Government’s immediate push to revisit...

Hipkins sworn in as New Zealand PM, pledges focus on economy

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Chris Hipkins was sworn in Wednesday as New Zealand’s 41st prime minister, following the unexpected resignation last week of Jacinda Ardern. Hipkins, 44, has promised...

Namah condemns arrest of West Papua governor

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Vanimo-Green River MP Belden Namah has condemned the manner in which West Papua Governor Lucas Enembe was arrested and detainted by the Indonesian government. Namah,...