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In a hidden corner of the Pacific families are isolated and living in extreme poverty

Our Pacific neighbours urgently need our help

I want to give

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The minimum contribution for this option is $25
THE HIDDEN PACIFIC: Poverty in our backyard

Pacific Partners

THE HIDDEN PACIFIC: Poverty in our backyard

This corner of the Pacific isn’t the paradise you see on postcards. Melanesia is our hidden backyard:​

  • Over 40 per cent of children are malnourished
  • Remote communities are unable to access healthcare and education
Join us in partnership with the NZ Government Aid Programme to build sustainable development and prosperity for our Pacific neighbours.

A donation of $1 can grow to $5 thanks to our NZ Government partnership

A donation of $1 can grow to $5 thanks to our NZ Government partnership

World Vision is a trusted partner of the NZ Government’s Aid Programme across the Pacific region. This means for every dollar you invest with World Vision, the Government could invest up to $4 in our work, bringing urgent support to vulnerable communities.

The New Zealand Government will invest $1 billion in the Pacific over the period 2015/16-2017/18, around 60 per cent of its aid budget. World Vision currently has 14 projects funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme across the region that improve access to education and health care, build resilience to climate change and natural disasters, and develop economic opportunities for remote communities.

Our friends in the Pacific urgently need our help

can provide materials to build a toilet in a remote community

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can provide seven families with drought resistant seedlings to provide nutritious food all year round 

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can provide a community health worker with essential tools to keep mum and baby healthy before and after pregnancy

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Two out of three women have experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner


The Solomon Islands has a strong culture of silence with only 30 per cent of women telling anyone about domestic violence despite 50 per cent of arguments in marriage resulting in violence. Research shows gender violence negatively impacts economic growth and children’s health, wellbeing and education.

As a group of over 900 hundred islands, our challenges also include access to vital infrastructure and economic opportunities. Up to 85 per cent of the population depends on subsistence agriculture or fishing to feed their families and live far from government services. Despite being skilled farmers and fishers they have no way to sell surplus goods to earn income.  

Only 40 per cent have access to clean drinking water

Papua New Guinea’s remote communities are vulnerable to natural disasters that further threaten their water supply and leave them unable to access healthcare. The massive drought associated with the 2015/16 El Nino weather pattern had a major impact on water supply in very many parts of PNG. And without water school attendance drops, maternal health is negatively affected, and disease can quickly spread because people are drinking unsafe water. 

There is also a tuberculosis epidemic in PNG. Rates of the disease are the highest in the Pacific, with an alarming increase in the drug resistant strain.

The most at-risk country to natural disaster

In 2015, Vanuatu was devastated by Cyclone Pam, the most intense tropical cyclone in the history of the south Pacific. Just months later the El Niño weather pattern left much of the country in drought. Vanuatu is still recovering from these disasters today. 

Access to education and sanitation, resilience to disaster and adequate nutrition present the biggest challenges here. In Vanuatu, 40 per cent of children under five are malnourished and only 9.5 per cent of children make it to their final year of schooling.

More than 50% of children are malnourished

Drought and poor climate conditions render the population unable to grow crops for several months every year. Coupled with a lack of diverse food and poor health access, malnutrition is often untreated and leaves lasting effects on children’s physical and mental development.

Other challenges include the degradation of forests and water from climate change, population growth, and intensive grazing. The country's struggles for independence destroyed most of the infrastructure and economy. Timor-Leste ranks 133 on the Human Development Index, placing it in the category of the least developed countries on earth.

Gender-based violence is a serious problem in the Solomon Islands

Gender-based violence is a serious problem in the Solomon Islands

Cecilia was just a school girl when a knife was held to her throat and she said ‘yes’ to marrying her husband. The promise of violence ruled their relationship ever after. Her story is not uncommon. The use of severe physical punishment to discipline women is frequent. Two out of three women say they have experienced physical violence from an intimate partner. 

Sister Annie, who works at the only women's reguee centre, describes herself as part counsellor, part police officer, part security guard as she works to help women who have been through rape and violence feel safe.

Where your money goes

Where your money goes

World Vision’s work in the Pacific supports isolated families and communities to build skills and resources to become resilient to disaster and have a more secure future. Donations till March 31 cover urgent needs in Hanuabada, Papua New Guinea and monthly giving supports our ongoing work in the region.

We are committed to ensuring the highest proportion of the money you donate gets to those in need. Over the last five years, an average of 79.6 per cent of the money received by World Vision has gone to fund our development work overseas.

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FAQs Pacific

  • Where does World Vision work in the Pacific? What about Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and other countries?

    World Vision works in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste. This is where the needs are most urgent with alarming health indicators similar to countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands fall into the UN’s poorest category of countries in the world. Vanuatu is consistently ranked as the most at risk country in the world to natural disaster - in 2015 it was devastated by tropical cyclone Pam, and months later severely affected by drought from the El Nino weather pattern. Timor Leste has the highest rate of child malnutrition in the world.

    In these four countries we have vast experience and programming expertise.

  • What are the key problems in the Pacific?

    The people of Melanesia live in isolated and dispersed communities that makes access to resources and services incredibly difficult. Papua New Guinea ranks 158 on the Human Development index, the Solomon Islands 156, while New Zealand ranks 9. Vanuatu was ranked as the most at risk country to natural disaster in the world. Many communities have alarming health indicators similar to countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Other key problems include:

    • Low levels of health and nutritional knowledge leading to significant child malnutrition
    • High levels of chronic diseases
    • Limited access to health services in rural areas
    • Gender based violence and discrimination
    • Lack of hygienic sanitation and reliable water supplies
    • Geographic challenges and limited infrastructure
    • Barriers to education, particularly for women
    • Urbanisation
    • Natural disasters and climate change

  • How is World Vision responding in the Pacific?

    World Vision has over 30 years of experience in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu. We work in partnership with local civic actors and government to foster accountability and to ensure long term sustainability of development. We use a long-term (10-15 years) integrated, community-driven development program model that includes strategies on health, agriculture, and water and sanitation. 

  • Where does the money for Pacific Partners go?

    World Vision works in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Timor-Leste to help isolated families and communities build the skills and resources they need to become resilient to disaster and have a more secure future.

    Single donations to The Hidden Pacific campaign will initially go to cover the urgent needs in the Hanuabada Urban Wash Project. And by joining the Pacific Partners programme with monthly donations you will be contributing to World Vision’s ongoing work in the region. You will be supporting water and sanitation projects, access to education, gender violence programmes, economic development and disaster risk reduction across the region.

    We are committed to ensuring the highest proportion of the money you donate gets to those in need. Over the last five years, an average of 79.6 per cent of the money received by World Vision has gone to fund our development work overseas.

  • How do you decide who needs help?

    We determine the locations of our long-term projects based on the United Nations measurements of poverty. Therefore, our focus is on Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific, according to need. We also respond to emergencies depending on the size and scale of a disaster and whether a local government can respond adequately.

  • What about poverty in New Zealand?

    Although there is growing poverty in New Zealand, there are also many systems and agencies to assist those in need. There is always more need in the world than we are able to deal with, and World Vision New Zealand works to assist the poorest of the poor, those who are the most vulnerable. 

    We determine the locations of our projects according to the United Nations measurements of poverty. The United Nations Multidimensional Poverty Index looks at multiple different factors including health, education, and standard of living, to determine where poverty is most extreme. While there are those who need the support of Kiwis at home, that doesn’t prevent generous New Zealanders giving to those in desperate situations abroad too. 

  • How is climate change affecting the Pacific?

    Climate change is happening, and it is affecting the poorest communities that World Vision works with, especially those in New Zealand’s Pacific backyard. We know the most vulnerable, especially children, are the most susceptible to the devastating effects of climate change and changes to their environment are already affecting their lives.

    Climate change threatens the future generations of Pacific children. Because they are still growing, children are at greatest risk of the impacts of climate change on food supply. The greatest killers of children – malnutrition, diarrhoeal disease and malaria – will increase because of climate change.

    A healthy environment is the basis for the future of children.

  • What does climate change have to do with World Vision’s work?

    Climate change is a developmental problem, not just an environmental one. Many of the countries most vulnerable to extreme weather events and a changing climate are also those least able to afford to prepare for the worst, and these are countries where World Vision works. 

    Climate change is threatening food security, agriculture, water supplies, economic development and health of the most vulnerable communities, especially children. Extreme weather conditions that are increasing as a result of climate change increase health risks to communities, especially children. Diseases including diarrhoea, leptospirosis, cholera, and typhoid are increased by exposure to contaminated water or decreased hygiene due to water shortages. These diseases have the potential to kill children.
     
    As sea levels rise climate change could cause large scale displacement of low lying regions, and affect crops and water supplies, threatening communities cultural connection with their land and their livelihood.

    World Vision is working to help build sustainable resilience around the globe, including in the Pacific, to the effects of climate change.

  • Why do I need an annual tax certificate?

    With your annual tax certificate, you can claim a 33.3 per cent tax credit on your annual charitable giving to World Vision New Zealand. Your tax certificate will show your donation total for the financial year. There is no limit on the amount for which you may submit a tax credit claim. In 2008, the Government removed the cap on the tax-deductible amount you're allowed to claim. The five per cent maximum limit for companies was also removed, so they, too, are able to claim a tax deduction for donations up to the level of their annual net income.

  • When will I receive my tax certificate from World Vision?

    If we have a valid email address for you, your annual tax certificate for the financial year ending 31 March will be emailed to you mid-April. If you don't receive your tax certificate or have trouble opening it, please contact us on 0800 800 776 or email us at email@worldvision.org.nz.

    If we don't have your email address, your annual tax certificate will be posted to you mid-April. If you haven't received it by 30 April, please contact us on 0800 800 776 or email us at email@worldvision.org.nz.

In a hidden corner of the Pacific families are isolated and living in extreme poverty

Our Pacific neighbours urgently need our help

I want to give

NZD
DonationOption (Do not delete this option)
--donation--48687|--pledge--48869
The minimum contribution for this option is $25

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