15th July, 2021--The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has handed over medical supplies to the Fiji Government as it battles a surge of COVID-19 cases. The personal protective equipment (PPE) was a donation from the Jack Ma Foundation to the Forum Secretariat for distribution to Forum members experiencing outbreaks.
Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Mr Henry Puna, is hopeful that the donation would contribute to government efforts to manage the outbreak. “It has been very difficult watching the events in Fiji, but I am heartened by the uptake in COVID-19 vaccinations across the country. I hope this small donation contributes meaningfully to the efforts to secure the health and safety of Fiji’s frontline health workers and that of the most vulnerable members of society”.
The donation is 5,000 N95 masks, 45,000 surgical masks, 10,000 medical gloves, 1,380 protective suits, 2,000 face shields, 30 forehead thermometers and 3 ventilators valued at USD38,000.
Acknowledging the difficult challenges faced by a number of Members the Secretary General encouraged Forum Dialogue Partners and members of the international community to increase their support to the region. “Our global community is only as safe as our weakest nations against the virus, and without access to the means required to overcome COVID-19, I am afraid that this pandemic will drag on far longer than we anticipate”, he said.
The Secretary General further added that, “ the Secretariat is grateful for all the support to the region so far, and we will continue to welcome any support through our Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19 to contain the spread of the pandemic in our Blue Pacific.”
Forum Members have embraced the Tuvalu concept of te fale-pili, exemplified by the Forum family coming together to support and look after each other during times of need.–ENDS.