According to household income and expenditure surveys, around one in four Pacific islanders live below the basic needs poverty line, ranging from 13% in Vanuatu to 35% in Fiji. According to Asian Development Bank’s 2013 Social Protection Index, coverage of social protection programmes in the Pacific is significantly lower than other regions. While many Pacific island countries have fairly extensive informal traditional support systems, these offer only partial protection against hardship, are slowly being eroded and governments are only gradually stepping in to compensate for this loss of social protection. Six Pacific island countries maintain non-contributory pension schemes for the elderly and two deliver disability benefits. Only Fiji and the Cook Islands have social assistance programmes targeting children.
Within the 17.2 million square kilometres of Pacific Ocean that the UNICEF Pacific multi country programme covers, large distances between islands and countries, combined with low rates of internet, TV and radio penetration makes it difficult for families to access the information and knowledge they need to ensure the health, safety and resilience of children.
From 2013 to 2017, the Policy, Advocacy, Planning and Evaluation (PAPE) programme will build on past successes to achieve the following results for children: