Features Archive December 2020

The largest pandemic in 100 years swept across the globe, upending lives and economies, and reshaping life as we know it.

2020: A Year of Trials But Also One of Resilience and Hope

Everyone has probably heard this countless times already - 2020 was a year like no other.
The region’s prominence in merchandise trade is expected to rise to an all-time high this year accounting for 41.8 per cent of the world’s exports and 38.2 per cent of global imports.

Sharp Declines in Trade and FDI but Asia-Pacific Performs Better than Rest of the World in 2020

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with increasing trade tensions and an already slowing global economy, have paved the way for the world’s worst economic performance since the Great Depression.
Pacific Island countries have worked with fishing nations to secure crucial protection measures next year for an industry worth over US$1 billion to local economies and employing around 24,000 following global meetings last week.

Pacific Tuna Fishery Protections in Place for 2021

Pacific Island countries have worked with fishing nations to secure crucial protection measures next year for an industry worth over US$1 billion to local economies and employing around 24,000 following global meetings last week.
Localization is a journey and until it is supported 100 per cent by the international actors, it will remain just there – local actors doing the implementation and the international actors coordinating and chances not given to local actors to exercise their powers and their expertise in how to respond to natural disasters.

A Moment in Time: COVID-19, Localization and the Pacific

As COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and international travel restrictions, border closures and lockdowns ensued, large numbers of expatriate aid workers returned to their home countries.
"People are at the heart of Australia’s partnerships in the Pacific. Greater economic integration will bring people closer together, underpin recovery, and build a region that is more stable, prosperous and secure – for all of us."

PACER Plus: Why it Matters Now

The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus – or PACER Plus – entered into force on 13 December, marking the start of a new journey in which parties will determine and co-deliver their own priorities for increasing trade across the Pacific.
Promoting safe, equitable, and effective access to vaccines is a top priority for ADB’s COVID-19 response efforts. Vaccination programs can break the chain of virus transmission, save lives, and mitigate the negative economic impacts of the pandemic by restoring confidence in people’s ability to work, travel, and socialize safely.

$9 Billion ADB Facility to Help Members Access and Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has launched a $9 billion vaccine initiative—the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX)—offering rapid and equitable support to its developing members as they procure and deliver effective and safe coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines.
The program is being headed by Cath Cooksley-Little, General Manager – Marketing, Communications & Tourism.

Pacific Trade Invest Australia Closing The Digital Literacy Gap in the Pacific

Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Australia has opened applications for a new tailored Social Media for e-Business professional development scholarship, designed specifically for businesses across the Pacific region.
At the launching of the Pacific Hub at the SPC headquarters.

Launching The Pacific Data Hub: A One-Stop Shop

Data and statistics about the Pacific are not easy to find unless you know where to look, or they’re your own. Often they can be fragmented, and tangible results from others’ research, projects or development work are hard to compare.
“While both countries’ confirmed case numbers are relatively low by global standards, these surveys provide striking evidence that the household-level impacts of the pandemic are significant,” said Michel Kerf, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.

New Surveys Track the Economic and Social impact of COVID-19 on Families in PNG and Solomon Islands

A new household survey will provide critical baseline for decision-makers working to combat the economic and social challenges amplified by the Coronavirus pandemic.
A coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University is said to be up to 90% effective.

Scientists Optimistic About COVID-19 Vaccines For All

Principals from BioNTech and Oxford University – both pioneers in the COVID vaccine rollout – participated in an online dialogue on Friday, held under the special session of the UN General Assembly devoted to the pandemic.
My experiences of Port Moresby, while not free of conflict, have led me to believe that international assessments of crime in PNG’s largest city do not quite reflect the true nature of both crime and, in particular, responses to it.

Crime in Port Moresby: Experiences of a Foreigner

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea’s capital, has a reputation for crime and violence. The Economist Intelligence Unit regularly rates the city as one of the least livable in the world.