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COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate: A regional solution for cross border travel

The availability of vaccines and ongoing evidence-based research to mitigate COVID-19 is allowing Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) to explore a variety of safe and efficient means of re-opening borders in efforts to revive economies. One idea quickly gaining ground is a digital travel certificate. The proposal to adopt digital certificates to facilitate cross border travel was raised at the...

Omicron BA.2 confirmed in Tonga, one death reported

Only 467 people eligible to be vaccinated are left to get their first dose as the government continues to roll out vaccination for COVID-19. Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni confirmed that 78 people have been discharged, 57 recovering with the remaining 133 active cases being monitored. The government also confirmed that one case had also passed away due to underlying medical...

Vanuatu government launches inquiry into labour schemes after testimony from workers in Australia

The Vanuatu government has launched an inquiry into the country’s labour mobility programmes, including the seasonal worker programme in Australia, citing concerns around safety. The inquiry comes in the wake of testimony from Vanuatu seasonal workers in Australia to a parliamentary hearing earlier this month, in which they alleged they had experienced bullying, exploitative working conditions, poor housing arrangements and...

Cash transfers prove ‘life-saving’ during COVID crisis in Fiji

An innovative Save the Children digital cash programme helped vulnerable families in Fiji to manage the devastating impacts of COVID-19, a new report shows. The largest humanitarian cash transfer in Fiji’s history used mobile payment platforms to send almost AUD$20 million (US$14 million) in funds to households identified as having the greatest need. The report shows that many families assisted in...

Dislocation and disruption: climate change in the Indo-Pacific in 2035

By Robert Glasser  The impacts of climate change on the Indo-Pacific, already the most exposed region in the world to climate hazards and home to the world’s fastest-growing populations, economies and geopolitical rivalries, will be profound. The scenario described below is an extrapolation from current climate science and observations of recent extreme climate-related hazards and their societal impacts. It isn’t...

Fijian Drua names team against Brumbies

Fijian Drua head coach Mick Byrne continues to introduce new Fijians into the Super Rugby Pacific competition by making some changes in the team against the Brumbies in round two this weekend. They play at the GIO Stadium in Canberra, Australia on Saturday. Kaliopasi Uluilakepa makes his debut at loosehead prop, joining hooker Tevita Ikanivere and tighthead prop Samuela Tawake in...

Fiji Drua adapt to Super slow-down tactics

Mick Byrne will take the slow-down tactics as a compliment and expects a more composed Fijian Drua side to test the Brumbies now their emotional Super Rugby Pacific debut is behind them. The Drua, boasting just one man in five-eighth Baden Kerr with Super Rugby experience, lost 40-10 to the NSW Waratahs in Friday's opening round. Byrne's side scored the game's...

Lonergan brothers to start for Brumbies against dangerous Fijian Drua

ACT locals and Brumbies pathways products Lachlan and Ryan Lonergan will start for the Brumbies against the Fijian Drua in round two of Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific this Saturday at 2.35 pm at GIO Stadium. The brothers first started together in the penultimate round of 2021, Nick Frost being the other addition to the Brumbies starting side for the...

Health authorities in Solomon Islands expect a surge in Covid-19 cases in rural areas

Health authorities in Solomon Islands expect a surge in Covid-19 cases in rural areas where up to 80 percent of the population live. The death toll remains at 83 and the total number of infections since the outbreak began last month is now 5,891 - of which more than 4,000 are in Honiara. The Health Minister Culwick Togamana said Covid-19 case...

Pandemic recovery must put people first: UN Secretary-General

People must be at the heart of post-pandemic recovery, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told a global meeting that opened on Tuesday to examine the economic and social impact of the crisis. Although COVID-19 caught the world unprepared, “we cannot let this happen again,” he said in a video message to the Global Forum for Human-centred recovery, organised by the International...

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COVID19 a wake-up call for Pacific countries to strengthen social security systems

The COVID19 crisis was a wake-up call for many Pacific Island Countries to enhance their social security systems. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB),...

‘End the licences’: Vanuatu oil rig registry sparks concern amid climate advocacy

Thousands of kilometres away from the Pacific, an oil rig in the North Sea operates under the flag of Vanuatu. In the Black Sea, a...

Pacific Defence Ministers to meet in New Caledonia

Defence ministers from several Asian and Pacific States are scheduled to meet in New Caledonia for two days during the first week of December,...