Save the Children’s Pacific Regional Director Jennifer El-Sibai said the new Office, led by Mr McDonald, presented an opportunity to increase support to our closest regional neighbors, particularly in education, nutrition and climate change resilience for children.
“We are pleased to see the appointment of Mr Ewen McDonald and the establishment of the Office of the Pacific and very much look forward to working together to address some of the key challenges affecting children in the region,” Ms El-Sibai said.
“For example, almost half of all children in Papua New Guinea have stunted growth from chronic malnutrition, which is the fourth highest rate in the world. Not only does this threaten the survival of over half a million children, it limits their education and employment outcomes which takes an enormous toll on the country’s economic prosperity.”
Ms El-Sibai said she was also concerned about the impacts of climate change in the region, particularly in Vanuatu.
“Vanuatu is the fifth most climate change-affected country on earth, making it highly vulnerable to cyclones, earthquakes, drought, flooding and tsunamis,” she said.
“As is the way with any disaster, it is children who are often the worst affected. With instances of natural hazards now likely to increase due to climate change, it is essential our Pacific neighbors have the resources they need to respond.”
“Save the Children urges Australia to restart contributions to the Green Climate Fund in reaction to increasing climate change related hazards in the Pacific.”
Save the Children has been working in the Pacific for decades, and works in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Fiji.
For interviews, call Jess Brennan on 0421 334 918