On this episode, we speak with The Australian National University’s Meg Keen, Henry Ivarature, and Nicole Haley about the successes and struggles in the Pacific Island region as it manages the coronavirus crisis.

Despite so far avoiding widespread COVID-19 infections, the risk of a major outbreak in the Pacific Island region remains real while the virus continues to wreak havoc around the world. In addition to the ongoing health threat, the region is dealing with the devastating economic impacts of the pandemic. With tourism representing a major component of the regional economy prior to the crisis, how are governments and donors in the region supporting people now out of work? What impact has the crisis had on policymakers’ ability to address other challenges in the region, like the deadly rise of non-communicable diseases? And is Australia delivering on its promised ‘step-up’? On this episode of Policy Forum Pod, we chat with Professor Meg Keen, Dr Henry Ivarature, and Associate Professor Nicole Haley about how the region is managing the crisis, what has worked in the response so far, and what else needs to be done as the pandemic rolls on.

Dr Nicole Haley is Head of the Department of Pacific Affairs and Associate Professor at The Australian National University.

Professor Meg Keen is Director of Australia Pacific Security College at The Australian National University. She has also a been senior policy fellow in the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia program at ANU.

Dr Henry Ivarature is a Pacific Lecturer at Australia Pacific Security College at The Australian National University.

Martyn Pearce is a presenter for Policy Forum Pod and the Editor of Policy Forum.

Policy Forum Pod is available on AcastApple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherSubscribe on Android or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to podcast@policyforum.net. You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or join us on the Facebook group. Image: Michael Coghlan on Flickr.

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