Know the Background of Tonga before Tour

Because populations are dispersed over multiple islands in the Pacific, efficient delivery of health care, education and other social services is difficult. Airfare is expensive and not always available to the most remote corners of the region; even boat service may be infrequent. The region is also linguistically diverse, necessitating multiple translations of UNICEF messages. Many islands in the region are vulnerable to natural disasters like floods, typhoons and volcanic eruptions.

Issues facing children in the Pacific Island countries

Immunization rates are declining in many nations, in part because it is difficult to maintain the cold chain in remote islands.
Breastfeeding of newborns is common, but few mothers continue to breastfeed throughout the first six months.
Although HIV/AIDS infection rates are currently low, the Pacific Islands have all the necessary ingredients for a serious epidemic: poverty, illiteracy, sexual exploitation of children and the prevalence of unsafe sex practices (such as multiple partners and a reluctance to use condoms). Reflecting the commonly held belief that HIV/AIDS does not really exist in the Pacific, most island governments have done little to prevent the spread of the virus.
The number of sex workers is increasing across the region.
Injuries and accidents are major causes of childhood morbidity.
Increases in teen pregnancies, drug and alcohol abuse, and sexual violence are contributing to an overall decline in living standards for women and children. Many parts of the Pacific are moving backwards in human development terms.
The Pacific Island nations have the highest suicide rates in the world.
Poverty forces many children to drop out of school because their parents can’t afford school fees.
Activities and results for children

By purchasing vaccines in bulk for all 14 Pacific Island countries, UNICEF’s Vaccine Independence Initiative insures an uninterrupted supply of low-cost inoculations.
UNICEF has created a separate Child Protection Programme to provide a comprehensive response to violence against children throughout the region.
UNICEF and its partners have launched several initiatives to deliver psychosocial support to children and families affected by the region’s numerous natural disasters and political conflicts.
UNICEF’s Adolescent Development and Child Health Programme is working to help thousands of young people develop life skills, make healthy decisions and protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. The organization has also published tens of thousands of brochures and posters raising awareness of how to prevent transmission of HIV/AIDS.
Advocacy by UNICEF and other organizations has made it possible to have a more open and frank discussion about formerly taboo subjects such as teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse and trafficking of children.
UNICEF sponsored a regional workshop to help civil registrars and health ministries their improve birth registration practices.
UNICEF sponsored participation by young people at a regional conference on small island living in Mauritius, encouraging them to speak out and help to shape their own futures.