World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Hardship & Vulnerability, Issues for Pacific Island Nations

Hardship & Vulnerability are Pressing Issues for Pacific Island Countries: World Bank

Hardship & Vulnerability Report Recommends Increased Investment in Data, Social Protection

SUVA, Fiji, 11 March 2014 --- Today at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, the World Bank launched a regional report, “Hardship and Vulnerability in the Pacific Island Countries.” Supported by the Government of Australia, the report provides comprehensive new analysis of hardship and vulnerability across the region.

Drawing on evidence from Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Kiribati, Fiji and Vanuatu, the report finds that extreme poverty remains rare in the Pacific, but that over 20 percent of people in most countries live in hardship – meaning they are unable to meet all of their basic needs such as food, fuel and medicines.

Pacific Island Countries are some of the world’s most at risk countries to economic and environmental shocks and people face a number of growing threats, from NCDs to natural disasters,” said Melissa Adelman, World Bank Economist and Lead Author of the report. “Increasingly when these shocks occur, they threaten to push families, and sometimes entire communities, into hardship.”

She said that the report aims to help identify how and where hardship and vulnerability are being experienced so that governments and partners can focus resources where they are needed most, and better protect the most vulnerable households from falling into hardship.

“These are critical issues for development policy in the Pacific region,” saidMichael Carnahan, Chief Economist (Development) at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. “People, communities, enterprises and governments are better equipped to pursue productive opportunities and take risks when they are not suffering or vulnerable to hardship.”

Key findings of the report include:


• Households headed by less educated people, elderly people, and households with more children, are more likely to live in hardship in all countries covered by the report. Women-headed households are more likely to live in hardship in Kiribati and the Solomon Islands, but are less likely in the other countries.

• Levels of inequality in the Pacific are now comparable to those in East Asian countries. In all countries studied, the most well-off people (the top 20%) consume many times more than the least well-off: the bottom 20 percent of income earners accounts for less than 5 percent total consumption in Papua New Guinea and 7 percent in Vanuatu.
• People in the Pacific are uniquely vulnerable to economic and natural shocks, as a result of countries’ small size, geographical isolation and high exposure to natural disasters. Dependence on global commodity markets for a large part of basic needs and incomes leaves households vulnerable to large swings in prices for items like food and fuel.

• A number of risks are increasing vulnerability for Pacific Islanders. As well as environmental challenges, the report highlights the pressing threat of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs have already eroded life expectancy in Tonga, and are exceedingly expensive to treat and incur long-term disability costs for many households.

• Family and community networks are central to life in Pacific Island Countries and act as critical “safety nets” for people when shocks occur. However, household surveys show that traditional systems do not always reach everyone: those in deepest hardship may be least likely to be part of gift-giving networks. Studies also show that gift-giving may sometimes require greater generosity than many households feel they can truly afford.

The report makes a number of recommendations. It suggests that Pacific governments have an important role to play in complementing traditional systems with social protection schemes, such as old age pensions and disability payments. In addition it recommends greater investment in prevention and management of long-term risks such as NCDs and natural disasters, to reduce future burden on households and governments.

The report also highlights the need for sustained efforts across the region to improve data collection, analysis and communication on hardship, and the importance of standardized methodological frameworks for poverty analysis.

The report was written as a companion piece to the 2014 World Development Report on Risk and Opportunity. It draws on data from Household Income and Expenditure Surveys carried out in the 8 Pacific Island Countries to provide the first comprehensive regional analysis of hardship and vulnerability in a decade.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Aftermath Of Brexit

Be careful of what you ask for. Now that it has woken up from its Brexit victory hangover, is Britain acting as if it has just won the World Cup? Hardly. More>>

ALSO:

UK Labour Statement: The Shooting Of MP Jo Cox

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party said: “The whole of the Labour Party and Labour family - and indeed the whole country - will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox today. Jo had a lifelong record of public service and a deep commitment to humanity." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Rainbow Colours On MFC In Sympathy For Florida Killings
Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre will be lit in colours of the rainbow Monday as a gesture of support for the LGBTI victims of the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando, Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news