The Lowy Institute Pacific Aid Map is an analytical tool designed to enhance aid effectiveness in the Pacific by improving coordination, alignment, and accountability of foreign aid. The interactive collects data on almost 13,000 projects in 14 countries from 62 donors from 2011 onwards. This data
In 1918 and 1919, the influenza pandemic swept across the world and killed millions. The Pacific suffered disproportionately high mortality. While around 3% of the world’s population died of influenza, mortality reached 22% in some Pacific nations, such as Samoa.
Pacific islanders are generally
The Maseratis are still collecting dust in sheds on a wharf in Port Moresby, but the sun has started to shine on at least one of the major deals Papua New Guinea gained from hosting the APEC Leaders Summit back in 2018.
The PNG Electrification Partnership committed the leaders of Japan, the United
On Sunday, nearly 181,000 voters from New Caledonia, a French archipelago colonised in 1853 and just 1,500 kilometres off the cost of Australia, were called to the polls to answer whether or not they wanted “New Caledonia to achieve full sovereignty and become independent”.
This was the second
Each year, more than US $2 billion of foreign aid is invested in the Pacific Islands region, equivalent to roughly 8% of the region’s GDP. This aid comes in the form of thousands of projects from more than 60 donors. Information about these projects is often messy and opaque, with public
Following weeks of anticipation, the people of Bougainville woke on Wednesday to news of a new president-elect. Former Bougainville Revolutionary Army Commander Ishmael Toroama, from Central Bougainville, will take up the mantle of president from John Momis.
Toroama was a popular
Book review: Mark Moran and Jodie Curth-Bibb (eds) Too Close to Ignore (Melbourne University Press, 2020)
Borders have been in the news in Australia, with the novel if frustrating experience of interstate pandemic restrictions leaving residents unable to cross previously free borders to access
Against the fear and distrust that increasingly characterise Australia’s relationship with China, the Belt and Road Initiative looms large. Australian politicians from both major parties rarely agree on much openly, but nearly all agree that China uses the BRI to achieve geopolitical goals. Many
On 4 October, New Caledonia will hold a referendum on independence from France, the second in a series of three possible referendums agreed to in the Noumea Accord.
With voting day looming, a study of local demographics and past voting patterns offers an insight into the potential outcome of the
Finding a consistent stream of agricultural labour in Australia has long proved a challenge. With Australians often unwilling to accept this type of work in the numbers required to get food to market, the government has sought to use visa schemes to remedy the problem, welcoming foreign labour. Yet
Judging by recent satellite imagery, it appears that significant progress is being made on an expansion and upgrade project at Momote Airport, the nearest airfield to Lombrum Naval Base on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. The runway’s usable length has been extended by about 200 metres, precision
The Defence Strategic Update 2020 has provoked a significant amount of debate in Australia. The reaction across the Tasman in New Zealand has been much more subdued, but Defence Minister Ron Mark reportedly suggested that increases in Australian capability would increase the ability to respond to
The resilience and stability of Papua New Guinea is under growing strain as the country navigates what has already been an unprecedented year. Beyond the increase in Covid-19 cases and the effect the virus is having on lives and livelihoods, the government has overcome a court challenge to the
Australia plans to spend a lot more on defence to confront what Prime Minister Scott Morrison says will be “a post-COVID world that is poorer, that is more dangerous, and that is more disorderly”. A chorus of voices have responded that Australian foreign policy risks becoming unbalanced, with
There must be days when Papua New Guinea Police Commissioner David Manning wonders what he has signed himself up for.
On Friday night, he revealed that his officers had found a ute-load of plastic-wrapped cocaine, just days after discovering an Australian-registered light plane that had
On 20 July, after a long period silence on the issue, the Brunei Darussalam Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement declaring that it “maintains its two-step approach in addressing the South China Sea”. As bland as this statement sounds, it represents a critical development in the tiny
The global economic recession triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic will have acute repercussions for the youth of today – both now and for their inheritance. The International Labour Organization recently warned the economic crisis is hitting younger people “harder and faster than any other group
The public aura around the decades-old “Five Eyes” intelligence sharing partnership between Australia, the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand has expanded rapidly since the name was first publicly acknowledged. In 2014, an Australian prime minister publicly referred to the “Five Eyes” for the
Rated as the country with the highest disaster risk worldwide, Vanuatu is no stranger to severe tropical cyclones. When Tropical Cyclone Pam struck the country in 2015, it affected around 166,000 people and left a trail of destruction.
Similarly, Tropical Cyclone Harold, a category 5 cyclone that
New Caledonia will vote again on whether to remain within the French republic on 4 October 2020. At the last such referendum, in November 2018, the result was 56.67% against independence and 43.33% in favour, with most indigenous Kanaks voting in favour and most non-Kanaks against, including a
In the name of keeping the nation safe, Australia is joining the Asia-Pacific’s accelerating missile race. However, not only will it not keep the nation safe, it will stoke an uncontrolled fire that is engulfing the region’s strategic landscape. The wise response would be to throw everything at
Campaigns for presidential and parliamentary elections are underway in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. A three-week poll commences in mid-August with results expected by mid-September.
No matter who will be the president or members of the 39-seat House of Representatives, a daunting task
States have many tools at their disposal to gain influence and project power. Some opt for pressure, coercion or force. Others seek to build closer people-to-people relationships that offer reciprocal benefits and greater cooperation.
Falling somewhere between these two options is “
China’s efforts to marginalise Taiwan and promote its “One China” policy has been a challenge for many countries. Some have diplomatic relations with Beijing while continuing to pursue trade and cultural links with Taiwan.
The US can do this because it is a global power. This was clearly
There’s been little rest for democracy in Bougainville.
After a break of a few months, the Autonomous Region of Papua New Guinea is plunging back into politics, with elections formally launched this week for its regional House of Representatives.
Coronavirus had forced a delay to the process,
Fifty-eight years after Samoa became an independent state, it has been promised a new court giving Samoan customs a rightful place in law. It is worth considering why has this has been declared necessary
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has told the nation that Samoan customs will be
When it comes to mobile networks in the Pacific Islands region, Digicel is dominant. More than 2.6 million subscribers mean its SIM cards power more handsets in the region than any other provider.
But the telco’s US$7 billion debt has been
For 50 years the University of the South Pacific (USP) has been seen as a jewel in the crown of Pacific regionalism. With campuses in 12 island nations, about 20,000 students and 1,500 staff, USP is one of the great connective tissues for the large “blue continent” that is the Pacific. Its
New Zealand was one of the more than 130 countries which, at the recent World Health Assembly, sponsored a resolution setting up an independent inquiry into Covid-19 – a proposal initially rejected by China. New Zealand also backed Taiwan gaining observer status at the World Health Organisation,
The Covid-19 crisis is now widely seen as the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression. In the Pacific, as in the rest of the world, economic activity has collapsed as a result of lockdowns to contain the virus. As an aid dependent region, a critical question is whether enough outside
In the latest episode of COVIDcast, Jonathan Pryke, Director of the Lowy Institute’s Pacific islands Program, sat down with Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, to discuss how Covid-19 is affecting health, economics, local communities, climate change,
In this episode Jonathan Pryke, Director of the Lowy Institute’s Pacific Islands Program, sits down with Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, to discuss how COVID-19 is affecting health, economics, local communities, climate change, regionalism and
“People who invest in aviation are the biggest suckers in the world.”– David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways
“If you want to be a millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline.”– Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways
The last few
Four months out from New Caledonia’s next scheduled vote on independence, a pro-independence leader has denounced France’s handling of the Covid pandemic in the territory as colonialist and partisan, and called for the expulsion of France’s senior political and military representatives. The
It’s peak surf season in Fiji. Usually surfers would come from all over the world to surf the famous “Cloudbreak” and holiday resorts should be packed. But Rendezvous Surf Camp, the launch pad to some of Fiji’s best breaks, excepting four guests, is empty.
One night this week, sitting
When the world is grappling with the kind of calamity few of us have experienced before, it can be easy to forget other crises. Climate change springs to mind. So, too, does the record level of human displacement around the world, a problem largely driven by conflict.
That brings us to the long-
Papua New Guinea has grappled with economic instability for years, exacerbated by generally declining global commodity prices, increasing national debt and allegations of fiscal mismanagement. None of this is helped by high rates of population growth and unemployment. Now the coronavirus pandemic
On 25 March, following a government decision, the Solomon Islands Governor General Sir David Vunagi, declared a state of public emergency in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Solomon Islands remains one of a few countries worldwide that is still without a reported case of the novel coronavirus. The
In Episode 11 of COVIDcast, Jonathan Pryke, Director of the Pacific Islands Program, sat down with Dave Sharma, Liberal member for the federal seat of Wentworth, to discuss strengthening ties between Australia and the Pacific, and a potential Australia‒Pacific travel “bubble”. Sharma has
In Episode 11, Jonathan Pryke, Director of the Pacific Islands Program sits down with Dave Sharma, Liberal member for the federal seat of Wentworth, NSW, to discuss strengthening ties between Australia and the Pacific, and a potential Pacific travel bubble
Papua New Guinea remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth.
Many women and girls walk kilometres for days when heavily pregnant in order to access health facilities. Just ten years ago, women and girls in rural districts would only visit a clinic as a place “to go die