Cook Islands are a Polynesian nation in political association with New Zealand. Isolation, inadequate infrastructure, limited natural resources, depopulation and natural disasters all pose development challenges, meaning aid and remittances from New Zealand are crucial.
Cook Islands are a center of offshore banking and have faced accusations of financial secrecy. Climate change is a serious threat to the existence of many communities across the islands.
Cook Islands are predominantly a lower-middle income nation but have far higher incomes than other Polynesian countries as a result of stronger private sectors, well-developed commercial agriculture, and extensively developed tourist industries. They also have one of the highest proportions of formal sector employees in the Pacific and compared with other Pacific Island Countries, it has a larger number of employees in manufacturing and a smaller number in public and community services. Agriculture accounts for a significant proportion of total exports along with fish and copra.
Oxfam in Cook Islands
Oxfam is reinforcing its relationships with regional civil society organizations and local Red Cross societies to help support the islands in the event of a natural disaster.