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


UNICEF and NZ partnership on Pacific children’s health

UNICEF and New Zealand government sign NZ$7 million partnership to improve children’s health in the Pacific

SUVA, 16 April 2018 - Today, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) signed a NZ$7 million agreement to support the prevention and reduction of newborn mortality in Kiribati, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

The ceremony was attended by H.E. Mr Nikenike Vurobaravu, High Commissioner of the Republic of Vanuatu, and H.E. Mr. John Patteson Oti, High Commissioner of the Solomon Islands in Fiji, and Acting Head of Mission of the Republic of Kiribati, Mr David Teaabo, with partners committing to support health interventions in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life to help prevent and reduce newborn mortality and create conditions in which children can thrive.

“We welcome this partnership with MFAT to help realize the rights of children in the Pacific and to ensure every child has access to quality health care and nutrition. The Government of New Zealand has shown admirable leadership in prioritising support for the health and wellbeing of children,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Pacific Representative.

With the support provided by MFAT, UNICEF will work together with the Governments of Kiribati, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to improve child health policies, provide better early health services such as newborn care, immunisation and nutrition and stronger health promotion at a community level to increase awareness of, and improve practices that pose risks to child health.

New Zealand's High Commissioner to Fiji, Mr Jonathan Curr, at the ceremony, said that tackling the impacts of child poverty is a priority for the New Zealand Government at home. The partnership with UNICEF is an example of expanding that commitment into the Pacific, by promoting some of the fundamental elements of child health – nutrition, immunization and community support.

Nearly 1,700 children under five years of age died in the Pacific in 2016. More than 80 per cent of those children died within their first year of life and half of those children died in their first 28 days. One cause for concern is childhood stunting, or shortness for age.

In addition to supporting targeted interventions in Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, the “First 1000 days” partnership will support a more expansive intervention in child immunisation across eleven Pacific Island countries, including Fiji, helping to improve child health outcomes throughout the region.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


COP24: Rapid Action Urged At Climate Change Conference

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, from California to Kerala, and Tonga to Japan, the annual UN Climate Change Conference opens with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. More>>


New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>


Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>


MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>