Pacific Bubble, COVID famines, faith and aid

Posted on 15 July 2020

+ Pacific bubble at last

The Cook Islands looks set to be the first country New Zealander will 'bubble' with, reports Stuff's Brook Sabin today.

This could mean quarantine-free travel each way, and the return of New Zealand aid staff to the country.

Expect an official announcement soon.

Roughly 70% of GDP in the Cook Islands is dependent on tourism. The return of New Zealand visitors will make up for some of the job losses, and the pressure on local communities struggling to make a living during COVID.

This is great outcome, and credit to those CID members and their partners who have been campaigning behind the scenes and in the media for a Pacific bubble first.

+ Election debate hots up

Anything could happen in this election. 

As this newsletter goes out, we don't know who the new leader of the National party will be.

But we do know that we have the best possible line up for an urgent debate on trade, aid and New Zealand's place in the world in the COVID era.

How has the pandemic changed New Zealand’s role in the world and in the Pacific?

  • Can we realistically keep our borders closed for a year or longer?
  • What does our aid look like if borders stay closed?
  • Can we expand a Pacific bubble beyond the Cook Islands?
  • Lockdowns in places like Yemen are leading to famines. What's New Zealand's humanitarian role now?

Moderator Newshub (TV3's) Tova O’Brien with:

  • David Parker (Labour)
  • Simon Bridges (National) 
  • Fletcher Tabuteau (NZ First) 
  • Golriz Ghahraman (Greens)  
  • David Seymour (ACT)

Please register for this major election debate on Trade, Aid and New Zealand's Place in the World post-COVID, co-hosted by CID and NZIIA (The New Zealand Institute of International Affairs)

CID members pay only $10 per ticket.

Thursday 6 August 2020  5.30-7.30pm
Location: The Ballroom, Intercontinental Hotel, 2 Grey Street, Wellington.
Please register at Eventbrite (registration is required and a small fee applies to cover our costs)

+ Pandemic aftershocks - poverty increases

COVID-19 is set to increase extreme poverty by 34 million people by the end of 2020, and an additional 130 million people by 2030.

  • The World Food Programme has warned that the number of people requiring lifesaving food assistance could double to 265 million people worldwide
  • UNDP has warned that 55% of the global population do not have social protection
  • An ILO and UNICEF report identifies that almost two-thirds of all children, that is over 1.3 billion girls and boys, have no access to social protection.
  • The World Bank projects a US$110 billion decline in remittances this year, which could mean 800 million people will not be able to meet their basic needs.

This COVID-19 induced global poverty and food insecurity crisis is further emphasised in World Vision’s Out of Time report.

World Vision data from rapid assessments in 14,000 households in nine countries in the Asia-Pacific reinforce these global predictions. Data was collected from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Mongolia.

Findings highlight that while COVID-19 began as a health crisis, currently the most serious effects are increased food insecurity and poverty for vulnerable children and their families impacted by the pandemic. As families are struggling to cope with loss of income and livelihoods, meeting basic household needs is a growing challenge.

+ UNDP calls for Universal Basic Income

The UNDP outlines its COVID responses here.

It recognises the vital importance of small, family owned businesses, and those who depend on them, so is working with policymakers to establish business continuity insurance for hard times.

It also continues to lobby business and political leaders to establish a universal basic income and to encourage and extend the flow of remittances, so vital to the global economy and GDPs of many lower income countries.

"In the Asia Pacific region, which enjoys a high population of young people, we are harnessing the creativity and vision of young startups so that the can both weather these hard times and come up with creative ways to solve the new problems we face."

+ Is the COVID cure worse than the disease?

Hunger could end up killing more people through lack of food than from the illness itself, Oxfam has warned

The UK Guardian reported that closed borders, curfews and travel restrictions have disrupted food supplies and incomes in already fragile countries, forcing an extra million people closer to famine in Afghanistan and heightening the humanitarian disaster in Yemen, where two-thirds already live in hunger.

Oxfam said that up to 12,000 people could die from hunger every day globally – 2,000 more than died from Covid-19 each day in April.

+ COVID in Yemen - a disaster

"Yemen’s civil war is about to be eclipsed in a tragic manner, writes Omer Karasapan of the Brookings Institute.

The fighting pits Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who took over the capital Sana’a and the north in 2015 against the Saudi- and UAE-backed, U.N.-recognized government of President Hadi.

Another conflict pits the Hadi government against the Southern Transitional Council. Both are ongoing. Despite calls for ceasefires, the country remains sharply divided and now faces a potentially deadlier foe than the war—the COVID 19 pandemic.  

The U.N.’s head of humanitarian operations in Yemen, Lise Grande, says the death toll from the pandemic could “exceed the combined toll of war, disease, and hunger over the last five years (in Yemen).”


CID Conference 'Oceanic Connect: Our Region, Our Development'

*Expressions on Interest now!*

This year, for the first time ever, CID will host our annual conference as an Oceanic regional effort – together with our partners ACFID in Australia and PIANGO in the Pacific.

The joint Conference will officially be launched at the end of the month.
Stay tuned for the upcoming announcement. 

In the meantime, we are looking for expressions of interest from those who would like to host a virtual session during the event. You could do this on our own, in partnership with other CID members, or with your ACFID and Pacific partners.

The on-line part of the conference will be held from 27 – 30 October 2020.

There will also be a face to face dinner event, and the MFAT partnerships day, both in Wellington.

If you can share insights, expertise, strategies, or partnerships that will help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in a COVID world, we want to hear from you.

Learn more and apply here

+ Why were we not more prepared for COVID?  

The current pandemic was not unpredictable.

Since the 1918 Spanish influenza, scientists have talked about the possibility of another pandemic. Among many voices, in 2003 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development warned that another pandemic was not only possible but imminent. With COVID-19, we are learning just how costly those events can be (through their triple health, economic, and financial impact).

Governments cannot act quickly without financial resources. A recent World Bank blog by Alfonso Garcia-Mora and Olivier Mahul stressed prearranged funding as a key enabler of rapid and effective response.

+ The global response to COVID in $

Almost $20.3 trillion has been committed, according to an analysis of funding data available through Devex.

In the first week of July, the largest new commitment for the COVID-19 response was $5.5 billion from delegates to the Brussels IV Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region, with the funds aiming to prevent further destabilization in the region.

In the year to date, governments, bilateral and multilateral donors, development banks, philanthropic organizations, and the private sector have all played roles in contributing money, equipment, expertise, and more.

+ What role for faith in humanitarian work?

The role of faith in development can be a controversial topic. 

The CID Code and training to be a humanitarian worker discourages talking about controversial topics such as religion when delivering aid.

But the importance of faith in the communities where we work, particularly in the Pacific cannot be denied.

84% of the world’s population self-identifies with a religion or faith tradition.

"Completely disregarding something that is so central to the identity of so many people is a mistake," says Kathleen Rutledge at Devex.

Kathleen is studying a PhD in the role of faith in humanitarian interventions.

She argues that faith is a key aspect of proper mental health and psychosocial support when dealing with any religiously affiliated population that has undergone trauma.

+ * Keynote talk*  on Adaptive Management - tomorrow

Following on from the adaptive management 'masterclasses', CID will host global expert, Leni Wild for a keynote talk on how to apply this approach to your work.

COVID-19 has forced adaptive processes on some and accelerated it for others.

How do we make this ‘Business as Usual’.

Leni Wild is a former Director of the Global Learning on Adaptive Management initiative, co-funded by USAID and DFID, and a Research Associate in the Politics and Governance Programme at the  Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in the UK. 
Date: Wednesday 15 July 2020
Time: 5.30 pm
Venue: Zoom -

The CID Weekly is Proudly Sponsored By
Direct Impact Group supports organisations to maximise their social impact, because changing the world isn't easy, and in dynamic times this work is more important than ever.

+ 25 Crisis shape humanitarian history

From the Rwandan genocide and the Darfur genocide to the 'implosion' of Venezuela, from the India Ocean tsunami to Typhoon Haiyan, from US 'September 11th' terrorist attacks to migration in the Mediterranean; humanitarian crisis have come in all forms over the last quarter of a century.

Some humanitarian crisis have been confined within state borders. Others have de-stabilised entire regions.

Some have killed hundreds of thousands of people in an instant. Others have displaced communities over generations. Some make global headlines and draw immense funding. Others fly under the radar of international interest. 

This year, The New Humanitarian marks 25 years of journalism. Previously know as IRIN News, this news platform is a trusted and informed medium that many of us refer to for updates. They have reviewed what they think are some of the biggest and most influential events that have shaped humanitarian and emergency response as we collectively understand them today. 

The New Humanitarian went back through their reporting and chose 25 crises that most defined our contemporary world. Looking at these crises historically shows why they still matter today, and suggests ways we might address the crises of the future. 

+ 'Adapt or die'

Oxfam International’s former director of strategy, Barney Tallack reflects on the challenges exacerbated by the COVID crisis facing INGOs.

You can read BOND's blog here.

He suggests INGO leaders -  board members and directors  - reflect on the following questions:

  • How do we ensure we are relevant? 
  • Where do we focus to deliver at scale and with quality in our niche? 
  • Do we really need to grow our members in the global south? 
  • Be realistic about financial growth. 
'A world with global challenges needs a global civil society working in solidarity and based on complementary strengths...Realism now about the existential funding issues gives global north-founded NGOs the chance to continue and to address those global challenges', writes Tallack.

+ Ted Talk - Humour for Humanitarian Work

"Humour like humanitarian work is about the clash between what is and what could be..."

Pablo Suarez, the Associate Director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Change Centre, and a mathematician by trade has done an excellent TedX talk on 'Harnessing Humour for Humanitarian work' on the role of humour in connecting with communities in development and emergency response work.

He argues that humour and 'fun' enables a break-through in humanitarian dialogue, and discusses how laughter is the ‘shortest distance’ to understanding other people’s realities

+ 'Off-track, under threat' - SDGs

A new survey shows that all governments have integrated the SDGs into national development planning or development cooperation policy. A clear majority of countries have an SDG strategy and a designated agency for implementing this strategy.

That's the good news.

Unfortunately there is still a low level of awareness among implementors at the national and local level, suggesting weak country ownership of SDGs in most countries.

National budgets are also not aligned with SDG priorities and there is still a weak level of stakeholder engagement in the SDG processes at the country level.

The new VNR (Voluntary National Review) study was launched at a recent High-Level Political Forum at the UN.

OFF-TRACK, UNDER THREAT: SDGs in the time of Covid presents the perspectives of 43 CSOs from 32 countries on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

While most countries allow CSOs to participate in SDG discussions and consultations, this does not necessarily mean they get to influence the resulting policies and implementation.

+ Nominations for Code Committee Member Representatives

CID is looking for two new Member Representative for the Code of Conduct Committee, for a period of two (2) years (renewable) from September 2020 – August 2022. 

The aim of the Code of Conduct Committee is to provide assurance to CID members, donors, the public and partners that the CID Code is being implemented effectively. It monitors adherence to the Code and compliance self-assessment and ensures that complaints in relation to the Code are examined promptly and fairly. The next 12 months will also be an exciting time as we continue with the implementation of recommendations from the Code Review.

The Member Representative will be nominated and elected by CID member organisations. The elected Member Representative can be:

  • current staff or board members of CID organisations
  • ex-staff and ex-board members of CID organisations
  • fully elected CID board members but not the Chair of the CID board.

Please contact Aaron Davy if you require further information, including a copy of the Code of Conduct Committee ToR and nomination form. 

The closing date for CID to receive nominations for the Member Representative role is Friday, 7th August.

SurfAid launches new coffee collaboration

Globally renowned coffee roaster, Allpress Espresso, has just launched a not-for-profit coffee collaboration with CID member organisation, SurfAid.

Many congratulations to SurfAid on this exciting announcement.

The press release is available here

+ MAZDA foundation grant

Mazda Foundation Charitable Trust awards grants to programmes promoting:

  • The maintenance and improvement of the natural environment
  • The advancement of culture and education to achieve excellence at all levels in the community
  • Advancement of education and employment skills development, with particular emphasis on children from deprived backgrounds
  • The arts where the goal is to educate and expose the NZ public on NZ culture

There are three closing dates for funding rounds every year: 31 March, 30 June and 30 September.

Click here for more information.

+ CID Activities
  • Desk Study for Post-Cyclone Season report (overlapping responses; COVID pandemic & TC Harold)
  • Conceptualisation and planning for World Humanitarian Day campaign (joint appeals & global giving)
  • Preparation for CIDX Talk - Applying Adaptive Management to your work (15 July at 5.30pm)
  • Annual conference preparation in progress
  • Development of  panel discussion on Effective Communication in progress
  • Preparation for Election Debate (6 August)
  • Report development for CID research: 'Health of the Sector Study'
  • Development of Localisation Baseline Report
  • Work-planning for Quarter 1 completed
  • GFA report for 2019/2020 in progress
  • Auditors report in progress
  • Preparation for Board meeting 22 July 
  • Election event in progress - August 6th
  • ACFID/PIANGO/CID meetings and actions
  • Provision of support to Program Network and Fundraising Network
  • New  intern starts at CID - welcome Nikki!


Pacific Islands Economy