Better policy needed to combat poverty in the Pacific


An academic says he hopes a new World Bank report on hardship in the Pacific will push governments to put in place better policies on combatting poverty. The report has found 20 to 40 percent of households in the Pacific are unable to meet their basic needs. It recommends more government investment in the management of long-term risks, such as non-communicable diseases and natural disasters, and more effective old-age and disability pensions. The Head of the School of Government, Development and International Affairs at the University of the South Pacific, Vijay Naidu, says governments should respond to the report. Professor Naidu says until recently, some people have denied the existence of poverty in the region. "As international financial institutions begin to show to the elite in the Pacific that there is indeed a lot of poverty, hardship and health issues and other kinds of negative social factors emerging, hopefully there will be greater traction. This will lead to discussion, debate, awareness and hopefully policies in order to increase peoples' resilience."


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