Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat staff assist in the loading of consignment packages containing PPE items.
30 June 2020
PIFS HQ, SUVA: The Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19 (PHP-C), continues to coordinate consignments of medical support to Forum Island Countries with medical supplies donated by the Jack Ma Foundation received in Fiji, French Polynesia and Papua New Guinea.
Secretary General of the Pacific Island Forum, Dame Meg Taylor said, “the evolution of the PHP-C and its role in the receipt, distribution and coordination of essential medical supplies to their final destinations is fulfilling the vision of Forum Members when they agreed solutions to the challenges posed by COVID-19. Forum Countries continue to effectively respond to the challenges of COVID-19 at the domestic and regional levels, the benefits of which are being realized every day as COVID-19 cases in the region continue to drop”.
Secretary General Taylor stressed that despite Forum Members’ successes in flattening the curve, it was not a time for the region to become complacent, hence the urgency of medical supply consignments to support Forum Members that have COVID-19 cases.
Fiji, French Polynesia, and New Caledonia are each receiving 50,000 face masks, 10,000 medical gloves, 2,000 protective suits, 30 forehead thermometers, and 3 ventilators. A repatriation flight for Papua New Guinea citizens in Fiji on Friday 5 June 2020 returned to Papua New Guinea with 225,000 N95 and surgical masks, 45,000 medical gloves, 9,000 protective suits, 135 forehead thermometers, 14 ventilators, and 9,000 face shields donated by the Jack Ma Foundation. The consignments are considerable noting the global shortage of Personal Protective Equipment.
“It is crucial that all citizens of the Forum are able to protect themselves from COVID-19, particularly those that are most vulnerable to the health, social and the economic effects of the disease. Consistent with the good governance principles the Forum holds dear, I thank Forum Members for being transparent in their receipt and allocation of all medical supply donations and procurements, Accountability during times of crisis is arguably even more important to ensure fair, inclusive and considered decision-making”, said the Secretary General.
The 18 Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum have recognized COVID-19 as a major crisis and have invoked the Biketawa Declaration to collectively respond to COVID-19, as one Blue Pacific family. The Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19 was launched by the Pacific Forum Foreign Ministers on April 7th, 2020.
Lisa Williams -Lahari
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Communications & Public Affairs
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat