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Contents:
  1. Pacific island countries benefit
  2. Economic development in seven Pacific island countries /
  3. Belt and Road moves on the Pacific Islands

Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation; NCD statistics for the Pacific Islands countries and territories. New Caledonia : Secretariat of the Pacific Community; There is some evidence to suggest that the significant rise in NCDs in the Pacific is also slowing the aging process itself, albeit through the unwelcome process of reduced life expectancy. Tonga strategic development framework — The effect of NCDs on life expectancy and the aging process in the Pacific continues to be an important area for future research.

We examine the implications of aging against what the World Health Organization describes as the six key components of a well-functioning health system: leadership and governance; service delivery; health financing; human resources for health; essential medical products and technologies; and health information systems. Key components of a well functioning health system. In focussing on the health system per se, we nevertheless recognize that many social determinants of health—including housing, nutrition and food security, tobacco and alcohol use, and social capital—influence health outcomes, including those for the aged.

Data limitations and a desire to focus on what is known about the implications for the health sector per se prevented us from exploring these other multisectoral influences. This remains an important area for future research. Data limitations and space prevent a detailed study of all 15 countries. We therefore provide an overview of the region but then focus the rest of the discussion using examples from four countries where the data are more robust from each of the main Pacific sub-regions: Fiji and PNG from Melanesia; Tonga from Polynesia; and the FSM from Micronesia.

We give particular attention to Fiji because it is the most rapidly aging country in the Pacific. Countries in the Pacific will be therefore watching to see whether policies and programs of a relatively populous in Pacific terms and upper—middle-income country can be made to be affordable, effective, and financially and institutionally sustainable. Data in the Pacific—specifically regarding older people—are limited. Where necessary, we have therefore formed our judgments regarding how we think the aging process will interact with broader health system constraints are empirical.

Updated mid year population estimates. The percentage of older people is also generally low. This is especially clear in more populous Melanesia, with only 4. Second, countries are at different stages in their demographic transition. Fiji and most Polynesian countries are more advanced in reducing the total fertility rate TFR and with generally higher life expectancies than the more populous Melanesian countries of PNG, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.

Population Dynamics in the Pacific Islands. Source: Adapted from Ref. A third feature of the Pacific is that outmigration of the working-age population is an important driver of population aging, especially in smaller economies with limited employment opportunities. The majority of people emigrating are of working age.

Tonga, for example, with a TFR of 4. High levels of outmigration of the working-age population also skew societies to the very young and elderly, particularly noticeable in rural and outer islands where employment opportunities are often poor. The share of the older population at least doubles for three of the eight countries—Fiji, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu—and nearly doubles in Kiribati and PNG.

Pacific island countries benefit

Projections out to see the aging trend accelerate even further, led by Fiji, which is projected to have over one third Median Age for Selected Countries in the Pacific. Changes in the Population Pyramid for Fiji. From United Nations Population Fund. Population ageing in the Pacific Islands: a situation analysis. Reproduced by permission of United Nations Population Fund. Permission to reuse must be obtained from the rightsholder. There is little evidence that aging is currently a priority for PIC leaders, hardly surprising given the youthful populations of the region.

The healthy islands journey — : achievements, challenges and way forward. Forty-second Pacific Islands Forum: forum communique. A recent study assessing the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing found that the Cook Islands and Fiji had specific national plans on aging.

However, of the six countries in Asia and the Pacific that had no specific plans, four were in the Pacific—Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu; the other countries were Afghanistan and the Maldives. Policy mapping on ageing in Asia and the Pacific analytical report.

Fiji national policy on aging — However—and somewhat surprising for a phenomenon that, by definition, has implications for decades—the original policy only extended through to The policy has not been evaluated and there is no specific indication as yet that it will be updated. National Council for Older Persons Decree Suva, Fiji: Government of Fiji; Fiji budget estimates Suva , Fiji : Government of Fiji; The government also funds three homes for the elderly in different parts of the country, housing around 50 people each.

Most elderly are assumed to be cared for using traditional social protection methods such as families, communities, and religious groups. There has been no research undertaken to measure the extent of these methods. Unfortunately, the cost, affordability, and cost-effectiveness of responding to the needs of the growing population of elderly in Fiji are not known.

Economic development in seven Pacific island countries /

This is an important area of future public policy research for Fiji, which will be of interest to all other countries in the Pacific. The record on governance in the health system in the Pacific is mixed. For example, the Tonga government and ministry of health are regarded as an exemplar for planning, monitoring, evaluation, and accountability of its overall health system.


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The Kingdom of Tonga health system review. Geneva: World Health Organization; Column 2 shows that total health expenditure THE is relatively high: all lower—middle-income countries in the Pacific exceed the global average, often by a large margin. World development indicators. A particularly striking feature is the already high level of government expenditure on health in much of the Pacific. This has implications for the long-term capacity to finance the health consequences of aging. Not surprisingly, government expenditure on health is now an important component of total government expenditure, potentially squeezing out opportunities for investments in other sectors or pensions for the aged.

Geneva : World Health Organization; Spending targets for health: no magic number. Geneva : World Health Organization ; The World Health Organization WHO notes that Kiribati has the lowest level of out-of-pocket expenditure on health care in the world: just 0. Spending on health: a global overview. Fact sheet Number However, it puts continued pressure on government health financing. The particular challenge for the PICs is that aging increases demands on public health systems but there is limited scope to expand expenditure on health for the aging.

More specifically, aging is associated with further increases in NCDs, often with complex comorbidities, and increased length of stay in hospitals. Health Policy Plan ; 21 2 : 75 - Informal sector growth and employment in the Pacific.

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Even countries with larger economies and resources may face challenges in expanding expenditure on health: government revenue in PNG in adjusted for inflation is now the same as it was in despite a major resources boom. PNG real revenue back to levels. Not if but when: Adapting to natural hazards in the Pacific Islands region. World risk index. Several countries are aid dependent and therefore vulnerable to aid volatility and potential skewing of health priorities toward donor preferences, which to date has not included the aged.

Broader public financial management reforms to increase efficiency and accountability in the PICs have had mixed results. The two countries have been maintaining good relations over the years. The Labour Party-NZ First Party coalition government, which was inaugurated in October by the first change in government in approximately nine years, places emphasis on Japan-New Zealand relations. He also attended the commemorative ceremony to mark the 7th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake. The two sides shared the view on strengthening bilateral relations and advancing cooperation in Pacific island countries, and on coordinating on regional situations, including North Korea issues.

He held a Foreign Ministers' Meeting with Foreign Minister Kono, and they shared the view that cooperation would be promoted especially regarding Pacific island countries. The two countries enjoy a complementary economic relationship and cooperated on the entry into force of the TPP Agreement. More than 1, young people from New Zealand have now visited Japan through youth related programs.

In addition, networking between sister cities is making progress with an aim to promote mutual understanding among the youth. Under this program, 31 Japanese students visited New Zealand in The two countries are cooperating closely for the peace and stability of the international community, including the UN.

In particular, in response to illicit maritime activities, including ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean-flagged vessels prohibited by UN Security Council resolutions, New Zealand conducted monitoring and surveillance activities by aircraft based in Kadena Air Base in September with the U. The PICs and Japan are bound by the Pacific Ocean, have deep historical ties, and are important partners for Japan in areas such as cooperation in the international arena and the supply of fisheries and mineral resources.

They are becoming increasingly important from a geopolitical perspective as they are located at the heart of the Pacific Ocean. Japan has been further strengthening relations with PICs through visits at various levels using the occasion of these international conferences, ODA projects, and active people-to-people exchanges. PALM marked its 20th anniversary in Prime Minister Abe held individual summit meetings with various leaders.

At PALM8, discussions focused on the four agenda items of i maritime order based on the rule of law, and sustainable oceans, ii resilient and sustainable development, iii connecting Pacific citizens, and iv cooperation in the international arena. The Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting is a summit meeting that has been taking place once every three years since to conduct candid exchanges of opinions on a variety of issues facing the Pacific Islands region at the level of top leaders, for the purpose of contributing to regional stability and prosperity, and strengthening the partnership between Japan and the Pacific Islands region.

It had been held seven times previously. At the summit meeting, Prime Minister Abe delivered the keynote speech in which he explained that the commitments pledged at PALM7 had been achieved in a form that greatly surpassed the goals and then declared that over the next three years Japan would advance cooperation centered on three areas: 1 free, open and sustainable oceans; 2 sustainable development; and 3 connecting Pacific citizens.

Belt and Road moves on the Pacific Islands

Furthermore, he promised that the Government of Japan would listen carefully to the needs of the Pacific island countries, while providing meticulous, high-quality support both on the tangible and intangible fronts that will truly benefit the people of the island countries and their society, and implement human resource development and people-to-people exchanges for more than 5, people centered on these areas over the next three years. Furthermore, the Pacific island countries expressed their gratitude for the contribution of Japan over many years, and expressed strong support for new cooperation and assistance measures for the next three years.

The project has also become a focal point for Western countries including the US and Australia to attack and demonize China. It was successfully implemented after seven tumultuous years. By studying this case, it is clear that governments and societies of Pacific island nations have the tenacity and determination to develop mutually beneficial cooperation with China.

As the China-proposed 21st Century Maritime Silk Road meets with Pacific island nations' policy of looking north, major projects like Ramu Nickel and an economic development zone in Tulagi are bound to continue in the future. The altered geopolitical and economic landscape after the Cold War has proven that the pursuit of peace and development is a mainstream, global trend. Looking at the world's history, it is evident that if people act against the dominant trend of the times, their actions will be in vain.

Rational-thinking people in Pacific island countries are calling for win-win cooperation between China and Western nations, warning against unprovoked attacks and the demonization of China. Public opinion in the US, Australia and other Western countries should shift following these exhortations.