By Harriet Smith, an intern with the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program.

  • Papua New Guinea's treasury has released the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook report, which provides revised revenue and growth estimates for 2016. The report is a scary document, highlighting how the state of the economy has deteriorated from already dampened expectations in the 2016 budget handed down in November last year.
  • However, new research has found that PNG's GDP could be higher under a more flexible exchange regime.
  • Prime Minister Peter O'Neill is calling for the University of PNG to resume classes this year, despite more disruptions at the campus. In a press release O'Neill also discussed media's role in the protests, calling on all outlets (and the ABC in particular) to ' report responsibly and do not publish rumor and make the situation worse as they have done in the past'.
  • A Pakistani refugee at Australia's Manus Island offshore processing center has drowned.
  • Vanuatu celebrated 36 years of Independence on Sunday (31 July). In his speech, Prime Minister Charlot Salwai promised political reform, including reforms on motions of no confidence.
  • Executive Director of the Fiji Council of Social Services Neil Maharaj spoke in Suva recently, warning that if Fiji's economic growth does not benefit all Fijians, it could become a drag on future growth.
  • Solomon Islands MP Rick Hou has published 'A Day in the Life of a Member of Parliament in Solomon Islands', giving a unique look into the pressures MPs face and addressing the contentious issue of constituency development funds.
  • The opportunities for improving access to climate change finance were explored in a recent publication from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
  • While many in the Pacific Islands have embraced social media, Fijian-born Fenton Lutunatabua is using it to fight climate change, and draw attention to climate action in the Pacific.
  • The Fijian rugby sevens team have been given a hearty send-off for their journey to the Rio Olympics from local airport staff.