Aid agencies poised to help respond to 'humanitarian catastrophe' in Gaza - official

UNICEF's Middle East and North African spokesperson Saleem Oweis said the delivery of aid was much needed inside Gaza with no water, food and services. He said it was already shaping as a humanitarian catastrophe.

Israel has been carrying out attacks on Gaza in response to deadly raids that killed hundreds of people earlier this month.

A deadly blast at a Gaza hospital earlier this week has killed up to 500 people but no death toll has been confirmed.

Both the Israel government and Palestinian officials have blamed each other.

Dan Carter takes on 24-hour kickathon for charity

Returning to Eden Park to launch his dedicated fundraising platform in association with UNICEF, the DC10 fund, Carter is taking on a 24-hour kickathon.

He is aiming to knock 1598 kicks between the posts in a period of 24 hours - matching the total number of points the first-five notched in his All Black career.

Funds raised from the event will be put toward UNICEF's water sanitation and hygiene programme for children in the Pacific.


Japan and UNICEF provide solar refrigerators for Covid-19 vaccines to Vanuatu

The Minister of Health, Silas Bule thanked the two partners for supplying 20 Cold chain equipment that are solar-operated refrigerators and are supplied with a complete health centre lighting kit system. Solar lighting will also improve the service delivery in health facilities at night.

The solar freezers can maintain the recommended temperature to store Covid-19 vaccines of 2 degrees to 8 degrees Celsius. Maintaining this standard temperature is important to ensure the vaccine's quality and effectiveness against coronavirus disease is maintained in order to save lives.

UNICEF supports roll out vaccines against infectious diseases and cervical cancer for Pacific children


The deployment of the three vaccines is part of the US$29.7 million System Strengthening for Effective Coverage of New Vaccines in the Pacific Project, which is supporting the introduction of these vaccines in Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

Financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the vaccine project was originally established to support the procurement of rotavirus, pneumococcal conjugate, and human papilloma virus vaccines through the United Nations Children's Fund.

Australia supports UNICEF to reach Ni-Vanuatu and Fijian children in Tropical Cyclone Harold response

Amidst COVID-19 challenges, including border closures and travel restrictions, the Australian Defence Force has provided support to airlift more than 25 metric tonnes of emergency response materials on four flights to Vanuatu and Fiji – two of the countries hardest hit by TC Harold which struck on 6 April.

This assistance is being delivered to the Pacific Island countries according to their specific response needs from UNICEF’s warehouse based in Australia, supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Effective outbreak response reduces the risk of measles spread in the Pacific

For Samoa, the country experienced a widescale measles outbreak which had significant impact upon the country’s population and health system.

The disease has cost lives, with infants and young children being most affected.

In response to the identification of measles in the region, many Pacific countries and areas have made serious efforts to close immunity gaps in their population and strengthen infectious disease prevention, surveillance and response systems.

UN agencies tell Pacific to vaccinate against measles

They said this should to happen before travelling internationally, attending major events or community gatherings.

Vaccination provided the best protection against measles and parents should get their children immunised, the agencies said.

In October, Samoa and Tonga both declared measles outbreaks.

Both UNICEF and the WHO said they were continuing to provide resources to Pacific states to respond to the measles threat.


Clean water and sanitation a huge Pacific challenge - UNICEF

That's according to the UN agency for children or UNICEF which works with almost a million children across the region.

Pacific representative Sheldon Yett said there are many factors hampering progress on the issue including geography, natural disasters and the negative impacts of climate change.

"We are working actually to make sure that they can make the most out of the water that they have. To make sure that kids have access to good hygiene. To make sure that kids are teaching their parents and other community members what to do.

Child given world’s first drone-delivered vaccine in Vanuatu

The vaccine delivery covered almost 40 kilometers of rugged mountainous terrain from Dillon’s Bay on the west side of the island to the east landing in remote Cook’s Bay, where 13 children and five pregnant women were vaccinated by Miriam Nampil, a registered nurse. Cook’s Bay, a small, scattered community that does not have a health centre or electricity, is only accessible by foot or small local boats.

UNICEF says Vanuatu evacuees coping

Some of the evacuees who fled the Manaro volcano are now being sheltered on the two islands, while the vast majority are on the big island, Santo.

UNICEF's country representative, Andrew Parker, said supplies are still being distributed to the islands and the evacuees are doing alright.

"Students that are relocating from Ambae into Maewo are certainly being supported with personal hygiene kits, and blankets, mosquito nets, and lights and so on," he said.