Vanuatu

Ardern announces RSE workers allowed one-way quarantine-free travel

In a post-Cabinet media briefing Monday afternoon, Ardern announced Cabinet had made the decision to allow Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from those countries to travel one way, without using MIQ.

The countries this would apply to reflected the fact all three nations had experienced very few cases of Covid-19, she said. Tonga had seen zero Covid-91 cases, Samoa just one, and Vanuatu had four - all those cases having been at the border with no community transmission.

UK and WHO deliver essential medical equipment across the Pacific

The World Health Organization’s Division of Pacific Technical Support based in Suva, Fiji, and the WHO Country Liaison Office in Tonga are working to meet these varied needs alongside partners like the government of the United Kingdom (UK).

Pacific Island Food Revolution TV show increases people’s uptake of healthy food

The programme commissioned the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics to do the assessment in Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Samoa.

The report found that watching and engaging with the show was responsible for an 'an excess improvement' on average of 33 per cent in Fiji, 38 per cent in Vanuatu, 146 per cent in Samoa, and 262 per cent in Tonga.

Simona Achitei the Grants and Program Manager for the show said the programme was trying a new development model to address the increasing rates of NCD’s.

300 expected on Tonga repatriation flights

The flights are expected to arrive on 30 June.

According to Chief Executive Officer of MEIDECC Paula Ma’u, another flight scheduled to arrive this week from Vanuatu bringing Tongan students studying in Vanuatu.

The chartered flight is also expected to take Tongan seasonal workers to Australia.

 

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Tonga Government defends last minute cancellation of flight from Vanuatu

It said when the Air Vanuatu special flight arrived in Tonga today the quarantine facilities were already full with passengers who were repatriated back to Tonga on May 5.

Communication and Information CEO Paula Ma’u told Kaniva News the special flight was chartered by a Ni Vanuatu expatriate in Tonga to return his deceased father to Vanuatu.

Vanuatu citizens who were stranded in Tonga have returned home on that special flight.

Division over NZ's RSE worker boost, Pacific reacts

New Zealand's Government announced this month about 2400 more migrant workers will be allowed into the country for seasonal horticultural work, many from the Pacific Islands.

Pacific governments remain keen to get as many of their workers into New Zealand's Recognised Seasonal Employer, or RSE, scheme, as possible

But Unions and economists say fruit and vegetable pickers from the Pacific Islands suffer high costs and poor pay and are often left with almost no money to send home.

ADB approves US$18.9 million for rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the Pacific

The grants to Samoa (US$8 million), Tonga (US$5.5 million), Tuvalu (US$1.5 million), and Vanuatu (US$3.9 million) will support their COVID-19 vaccination programmes for a combined population of almost 600,000 people. The project is financed by ADB’s US$9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility launched in December 2020 to offer rapid and equitable vaccine-related support to ADB’s DMCs.

ANZ extends fee waiver for money transfers to Pacific

Latest figures show the value and volume of transfers made by ANZ customers to the Pacific has increased substantially on the same period last year.

In February 2021 ANZ Australia and New Zealand customers sent a combined volume of 8,761 International Money Transfers worth AUD$12m (US$9.2 million) – a 95 percent increase in volume and 33 percent increase in value compared with the same period last year.

Money sent back to the Pacific from overseas, known as remittances, can make up a large part of a Pacific household's disposable income - up to 25 percent.

Japan to give $41 million aid to Asian and Pacific nations over vaccine supply

The Foreign Ministry said Tuesday the grant aid will be used to secure cold-storage facilities, transport vehicles and other equipment necessary for the stable delivery of vaccines in those countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, according to the ministry.

Japan aims to help ensure the delivery of vaccines "to each and every person in the all corners of developing countries" with the hope of containing the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible, it said, adding the aid will be delivered through the United Nations Children's Fund.

New campaign to help Pacific islanders tackle online fraud and keep remittances flowing

The ‘Get Safe Online Pacific’ guidance provides essential tips and information for people across the Pacific to help make sure their experience of sending or receiving money overseas is successful, safe and economical.

Sending and receiving remittances to and from Pacific Island countries has become hugely important to the very survival of island nations throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the World Bank, in 2017 alone nearly 20% of Tonga’s GDP came from remittances.