The Pacific Island Countries (PICs), isolated from the rich and/or larger countries, are not immune to shocks from their distant neighbours. Rather, their smallness with a heavy dependence on trade, aid, migration, and tourism has exacerbated their exposure to such shocks. This paper draws on the experiences of 19 Pacific island states to argue that their poor developmental record is as much the result of their own failings as the result of factors well beyond their control. Rich countries, consequently, have a role in facilitating development in the PICs. Such facilitation requires a lot better understanding of the impact of rich country policies on development in distant island nations.