Resilience at the heart of a joint USP-WFP Pacific project in Samoa


In the heart of the expansive Pacific Ocean lies a region that grapples with the unyielding impact of climate change and natural disasters. Pacific Islands are extremely vulnerable to climate shocks and natural calamities, underscoring the urgent need to closely monitor the effects of these crises on the local population.

The vulnerability of our islands to these calamities necessitates vigilant monitoring of their effects and the establishment of well-informed disaster response policies. This initiative aims to protect household food security and essential needs and improve the lives of the most vulnerable populations.

Markets play a paramount role in enhancing people’s livelihoods, enhancing food security and enabling them to meet their essential needs.

Recently a research team from the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the World Food Programme (WFP) visited Samoa and spent two weeks conducting interviews and focus group discussions. A total of 111 market assessments were conducted across 4 market areas, namely Apia, Vaitele,Vailele and Salelologa, including markets’ traders, supermarkets and shop owners. Additionally, 4 Focus Group Discussion were conducted.

The primary goal is to use the data collected from these interactions to estimate the Market Functionality Index, a WFP’s flagship indicator that allows to understand whether national markets are able satisfy Samoan’s essential needs, identify strengths and weaknesses of local markets, and highlight areas that require intervention. Its ultimate goal is to assist the government of Samoa in developing well-informed policies to ensure their citizens are able to meet their essential needs, with a special emphasis on food security in the aftermath of a disaster.

The successful data collection would not have been possible without the incredible support and collaboration of our partners: The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (MWCSD), the Samoa Bureau of Statistics (SBS), and USP Alafua Campus. Their invaluable contributions facilitate the project’s successful implementation in-country.

This project represents a collaborative effort between the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the World Food Programme (WFP), aiming to localize research and contextualize tools to collect vital market information.

The joint USP-WFP Pacific project in Samoa and Fiji focuses on building resilience, striving to create sustainable, adaptive, and self-reliant communities capable of tackling present and future challenges.

Such initiatives play a crucial role in safeguarding the well-being and development of the region’s people and their environments.

USP Chat Service
Lets start: