Events
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Praxis Discussion Series: Poverty & Hardship in the Pacific
March 7, 2014World Bank office, Level 19, 14 Martin Place, Sydney, NSW

New analysis tells us that over 20 percent of Pacific Islanders are unable to meet their basic needs. Inequality is also on the rise in several Pacific Island Countries. How do Pacific Islanders understand “poverty”? What role are traditional systems playi... ng, and what more can governments, communities and development organizations do to protect people from hardship? Follow our televised panel discussion on poverty and hardship in the Pacific.  See More

For many, Pacific Island Countries conjure up images of “tropical paradise” – palm trees, remote islands, fecund gardens - but evidence suggests that the reality for Pacific Islanders may be more complicated.

“Extreme” poverty or severe hunger is rare in the Pacific. However new analysis tells us that over 20 percent of Pacific Islanders are living in hardship - unable to meet their basic needs - reaching 40 percent in Papua New Guinea. Inequality is also on the rise in several Pacific Island Countries, and comparable to figures in East Asia.

In the region’s urban areas, now home to about half the region's population, poverty has become increasingly visible, and in many communities the cash economy is bringing new challenges.

How do Pacific Islanders understand “poverty”? What does the latest data tell us about the face of poverty in the Pacific and the changing nature of risk? What role are traditional systems playing, and what more can governments, communities and development organisations do to protect people from hardship? 

Drawing on new analysis from the Pacific, the discussion will bring together Rex Horoi, Executive Director for the Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International (FSPI); David Abbott, Economic Development Specialist and Truman Packard, Lead Economist, Human Development Sector at the World Bank.


Follow on Twitter: @WorldBankAsia #PacificPraxis

Watch on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6FE8A490B08CB2DB&feature=plcp

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Refreshments will be provided. The discussion will last an hour, with 30 minutes set aside for questions from the audience. 

RSVP: We need to confirm numbers by 5pm Wednesday, March 5th. Please email us at pacificmedia@worldbank.org, to register your attendance. As this is a catered event, please only RSVP if your attendance is assured.  

Rex Horoi, Executive Director for the Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International (FSPI)
Rex Horoi is the Executive Director for the Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International (FSPI), a position he has held since 2000. The Foundation is the largest, most experienced secular civil society network in the Pacific and works to foster self-reliance and sustainable development. As a former Solomon Islands Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador to the United States and High Commissioner to Canada, Rex combines his vast experience in international negotiations with regional and community best practice in leadership. He was born and raised in a village on the island of Makira in the Solomon Islands.

David Abbott, Economic Development Specialist
David Abbott is an economic development specialist with over 35 years of experience in applied economic policy research and analysis, with an emphasis on poverty and inclusive growth. David recently retired from the position of Pacific Regional MDG & Poverty Reduction Team Leader with the UNDP Pacific Centre based in Fiji.  He is currently undertaking consulting assignments with specific focus on hardship, poverty and vulnerability in the Pacific and he has just completed a period as the Team Leader for an Institutional Strengthening Project with the Samoa Bureau of Statistics. During this assignment he led the development of a Village Vulnerability Index based on data from the 2011 Samoa population census and 2009 household income and expenditure survey.He has directed numerous projects with governments and international development partners including ADB, EDF, FAO, AusAID, NZAID and UNDP.  He has written extensively on Pacific poverty and hardship, development policies and the macroeconomic issues facing the Pacific region.

Dr Truman Packard, Lead Economist, Human Development Sector – The World Bank
Truman Packard is a Lead Economist and has worked in various operational positions at the World Bank since 1997. Trained as a labor economist, his work has focused primarily on the impact of social insurance - including pensions, unemployment insurance, disability benefits, and financial protection from adverse health events - on household labor supply decisions, saving behavior and risk management. Truman has been a part of World Bank teams providing assistance to governments seeking to improve the coverage and efficiency of education, health and social protection systems in Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe, and East Asia and the Pacific Island countries. He also served as Deputy Director of the pioneering World Development Report 2009 "Reshaping Economic Geography", and is a member of the Bank's Safety Nets Global Expert Team. Truman holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Truman will draw on findings from a new report, "Hardship and Vulnerability in the Pacific". Completed with support from the Australian government, this is the first regional analysis of its kind in a decade - and provides a comprehensive view of hardship in the Pacific.

Event Details
  • when: Friday 7 March, 1pm – 2pm (please arrive by 12:45pm in order to be seated on time)
  • WHERE : World Bank office, Level 19, 14 Martin Place, Sydney, NSW
  • MODERATOR: Bronwyn Adcock, Journalist