Even before the global pandemic and the 5F crisis, many island nations in the South West Pacific were grappling with other issues. (Photo: medcom.id)
Even before the global pandemic and the 5F crisis, many island nations in the South West Pacific were grappling with other issues. (Photo: medcom.id)

Pacific Nations Urged to Explore Innovative Solutions to Tackle Crises

Wahyu Dwi Anggoro • 30 November 2022 12:56
Apia: The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Qu Dongyu and Hon Fiam? Naomi Mata?afa, the Prime Minister of Samoa, on Tuesday called on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to leverage the power of innovation to regain their momentum toward achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
 
The Pacific SIDS Solutions Forum (28-30 November), convened in Samoa’s capital, Apia, has brought together ten Government Ministers, as well as Senior Officials from the Ministries of Agriculture, Fishery, Forestry, Natural Resources Management and Climate Change, ICT, and Health, and representatives from development partners, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders, from 14 Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS). 
 
They are exploring the role innovative solutions can play in addressing the disproportionate aftershocks experienced in the Pacific Islands caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, climate change, and the 5F crisis (food, feed, fuel, fertilizer and finance).

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"As a result of these converging crises and shocks, we have seen negative coping strategies emerging, including changes in consumer behaviour, with the price of healthy foods out of reach for some, forcing people to resort to cheaper, less healthy options," Qu said in a media release on Tuesday.
 
Even before the global pandemic and the 5F crisis, many island nations in the South West Pacific were grappling with other issues. Over the course of many years, due to a dependence on imported, processed foods, high in salt and sugar content, the prevalence of non-communicable diseases had skyrocketed. Type-2 diabetes, coronary diseases, obesity and other health issues have placed a great strain on public health services. At the same time, stunting of children had continued to be a problem.
 
Governments, FAO, other UN Agencies and stakeholders have been working together to rebalance diets and improve nutrition, through re-focusing on home-grown, healthy foods and improved livelihood opportunities in the local food and agriculture sectors.
 
"There is urgency for small island states to move forward with transformative food system approaches including government support towards building sustainable, resilient, and inclusive agrifood systems that fit our respective contexts," noted the Prime Minister of Samoa.

 
(WAH)

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