Features Archive June 2020

Lucy and her youngest child at their roadside stall in Aola.

Simple, Young and Content

At 20 years of age, Lucy has two sons. Her eldest child is now three years old while her youngest is a bit over 12 months.
Malaita Premier Daniel Suidani thanked the “government and loving people of Taiwan for the support”, emphasising that the help was provided on humanitarian grounds and not meant to undermine the country’s relations with China.

Solomon Islands Gets a Lesson in Chinese Diplomacy

China’s efforts to marginalise Taiwan and promote its “One China” policy has been a challenge for many countries.
"As part of post COVID-19 recovery, new foundations for sustainable tourism and fisheries in Asia-Pacific SIDS must be built. These sectors must not only have extensive links to local communities and economies, but also be resilient to external shocks."

Sustainable Tourism and Fisheries Key to Growth in Post-COVID Pacific

Developing countries of Asia and the Pacific are experiencing unbalanced tolls of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grim milestones in infections and deaths have left countless devastated.
USP's Laucala Campus in Suva, Fiji.

USP, Pacific Regional Institutions and Governance

The recent University of the South Pacific (USP) Council meeting to address governance issues resulting in the reinstatement of its suspended Vice Chancellor may have opened a pathway for political will amongst leaders and politicians of Pacific Islands Forum member countries to push for better governance in regional institutions.
Women are over-represented in lower paid occupations such as these garment workers in Southeast Asia.

Women’s Economic Empowerment at a Time of Crisis: Can COVID-19 Be Different?

COVID-19 is a health crisis with far-reaching social and economic consequences, both immediate and stretching into an unpredictable future.
Jeminah is a member of the Solomon Islands paralympic team. In more than one occasion she has represented the country in past competitions.

Appreciate Life Even If All Seem Bleak

Jeminah Oto’a used to work at Solomon Airlines. 2020 began with new hopes and dreams for her, when she started work as an intern receptionist at the local Airline Company.
The SWP has grown rapidly in recent years, reaching just over 14,000 visas in the 12 months to the end of January 2020.

Pacific Labour Mobility in the Media Spotlight

Recently, the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) have got a bad rap in the press.
The total estimated seasonal workforce needed for horticulture for the spring and summer harvest season ahead could be up to 40,000 workers, based on the previous demand for seasonal workers over that period.

A Major Labour Shortage at Harvest Time is Looming

The challenge for growers in Australian horticulture is to find sufficient labour for the months of September 2020 to January 2021 to harvest the fruit and vegetables they have produced.
Staff in the Lae studios of the National Broadcasting Corporation of Papua New Guinea.

The Importance of Radio for PNG’s COVID-19 School Response

Primary and secondary schools in Papua New Guinea (PNG) resumed operations more than a month ago after the State of Emergency (SOE) Controller lifted the temporary closure. Resuming classes in the midst of a countrywide SOE is no easy feat.
A key lesson from the current crisis for policymakers in the region is that establishing social protection systems that reach the poorest households will ensure that when the next economic shock hits, large segments of the population don’t fall back into extreme poverty.

Poverty and the Pandemic in the Pacific

COVID-19 has had a far greater economic impact than health impact on Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the Pacific.
The statement and/or action by a Solomon Islander, however controversial it may have been, was made in Solomon Islands. This is a sovereign issue. This is an internal matter.

The Sovereignty of Solomon Islands Must be Preserved - Always

In over 40 years of independence and conducting of diplomatic relations, no diplomatic ally has publicly spoken directly to Solomon Islanders, including national and provincial leaders, in an admonishing fashion to ‘stop making irresponsible remarks or actions’ against their/global policies, whatever those may be.
When COVID-19 is finally reigned in, economies are likely to rebound with a vengeance—burning even more, now cheaper fossil fuels.

COVID-19 vs Climate Change: What Can We Learn?

Unlike its health, economic, or gendered impacts, COVID-19 has yet to cause an overt crisis for Asia’s environment.
Caption: Social Empowerment and Education Programme (SEEP) staff raising awareness on COVID-19 in communities.

Fiji Civil Society Solidarity Driving the COVID-19 Humanitarian Response

If there ever were an ideal time to talk solidarity, to practice solidarity and to strengthen solidarity, the time would be now.
Support for women to run for elections needs to move out of workshops in lavish hotels in Port Vila and instead get down to the constituencies to encourage the grassroots to resist bribery and vote for women.

On Running for Elections in Vanuatu as a Woman

In the recent Vanuatu national elections, Dr Andrina Thomas stood for the rural electorate of Espiritu Santo. Here she offers some reflections to Elise Howard.
While restrictions have been placed on human movement in some Pacific island countries, in reality there is still regular migration of people and goods between urban and rural areas. This could prove problematic during a pandemic if pockets of COVID occur.

Pacific Informal Settlements: Not Immune to COVID-19

Pacific islands face unique challenges in combating COVID-19 and will need unique solutions to come out of the crisis unscathed.