Credits Children currently in primary schools stand to reap the full benefits of any social protection scheme that will be implemented now. Photo: UNDP Samoa/L.Lesa
Published on October 4, 2022

Country Update: Belize, Multi Country Pacific Office Samoa, and Timor-Leste


The Joint Programme in Belize is supporting the Government to strengthen existing policies and tools to enable it to respond more effectively to present and future crises like the pandemic and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. As Belize imports its fuel and almost all its processed foods, the compounding effects of multiple shocks will further push the affordability of food. More so, the cost of quality food and healthy diets is out of reach for many. Under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator’s Office, WFP, UNICEF, UNESCO and FAO will help the Government fill in existing gaps in its information base and systems to inform the design of appropriate and timely strategies and programs that can assist populations affected by the present crises and similar shocks in the future. 

Samoa, Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau and Tuvalu

Pacific Small Island Developing States are extremely vulnerable to climate change, natural disasters and global economic shocks. This vulnerability is further deepened by impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the evolving price volatility linked to the war in Ukraine. For example, in Samoa, petroleum prices from May to June 2022 increased by 11% and 20% for unleaded and diesel respectively; while seeds and fertilizer prices also increased by 50%.

Under the leadership of the three Resident Coordinators in the Pacific - Jaap Van Hierden, Sanaka Samarasinha and Simona Marinescu - the Food And Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) with technical support of the other UN agencies are using the Development Emergency Modality funding, US$ 400,000, to support ten SIDS in the Pacific. We are closely working with the Governments and other actors to strengthen data collection and analysis to support evidence-based policy making and response to the impact of the current global food crisis.

Under the Joint Sustainable Development Goals Fund, WFP is implementing its mobile vulnerability analysis in Samoa and Solomon Islands, while FAO is completing a similar analysis in Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau and Tuvalu. Poor nutrition is one glaring instigator associated with NCDs. Therefore, FAO is also supporting the development and implementation of national food systems transformation pathways with an aim to expand the healthy food choices of the vulnerable population. For example, FAO is working with Samoa to populate reefs and fish farms with fingerlings, build the capacity of local food producers and handlers in Tuvalu, support animal feed production in Solomon Islands, etc.


In Timor-Leste, the UN inter-agency group on this work is coordinated by the Resident Coordinator’s Office and includes UNDP, UN Women and WFP. The Joint Programme is providing support to women entrepreneurs in the agriculture and food production sector as a response to the surge in energy and food prices driven by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The current situation has exacerbated the challenges and constraints experienced by women owned MSMEs working on local food production and related activities. The UN team supports women-owned MSMEs in training on business development and financial literacy, technical support for a soft loan scheme, purchasing of solar energy equipment and solar-powered food carts. This initiative aims to build capacity of 100 women entrepreneurs, including providing technical support for 40 women owned MSMEs and is a practical example of the ways in which women play a vital role in national food production, storage and marketing.