Over 1 million Pacific Islanders will continue to fight COVID-19 thanks to new partnership UNICEF – United States Government – Fiji

SUVA, FIDJI October 22, 2021 – Today, UNICEF and the United States government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announce a new US $ 1.9 million partnership to support governments in the region, including the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. , Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu with their COVID-19 preparedness and response plans.

“Pacific island countries remain vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks even as COVID-19 vaccine coverage increases. US support will strengthen the efforts of Pacific Island governments to ensure their populations are protected as they begin to reopen their borders, ”said UNICEF Pacific Representative Jonathan Veitch. “This new fund will allow UNICEF to further support government partners to increase immunization among populations to achieve higher coverage. ”

“Providing more support for COVID-19 is part of the U.S. government’s continued efforts to hold our good friends and neighbors in the Pacific accountable,” said Sean Callahan, USAID Acting Mission Director for the Philippines, Islands of the Pacific and Mongolia. “USAID’s ongoing partnership with UNICEF will provide additional essential COVID-19 care to communities in several Pacific island countries, which will help us overcome this devastating pandemic. “

To date, the U.S. government, through USAID, has provided nearly $ 44 million to help Pacific island countries, including Fiji, fight COVID-19 and protect health and the livelihoods of communities in the region.

UNICEF, through this partnership, will provide technical support and work closely with ministries of health, to strengthen immunization campaigns and develop effective public health messages across multiple platforms. This includes community networks comprising religious and traditional leaders as well as the use of young volunteers to reach the most remote islands with vital information and to increase demand for COVID-19 vaccines.

The funding will also support the strengthening of water, sanitation and hygiene services in health facilities, vulnerable households and communities directly affected by COVID-19.

This new assistance, which builds on the continued partnership of USAID and UNICEF in the Pacific to support the COVID response and vaccine technical assistance, aims to further strengthen the immunization program against COVID-19. Ministries of health will receive technical support and supplies, including COVID-19 test kits, oxygen concentrators, personal protective equipment, vaccination supplies and cold chain equipment, to meet needs prevention and response to COVID-19.

This partnership between UNICEF and the United States government plays a key role in supporting ongoing planning and recovery activities in the Pacific. This partnership will strengthen the capacity of national governments and strengthen the resilience of health systems, families and communities to deal with COVID-19 and the risks of transmission.

Notes to Editors:

About USAID:

USAID partners with Pacific island countries to strengthen their capacity to lead their countries to a stable and prosperous future. We focus on strengthening disaster preparedness and environmental resilience, health and democratic governance. For more information on USAID’s work in the Pacific Islands, please visit https://www.usaid.gov/pacific-islands

For more information please contact:

Patrick Bowers, USAID / Acting Senior Development Advisor for Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Nauru and Samoa, [email protected]
Zubnah Khan, UNICEF Pacific, Tel. : +679 9988137, [email protected]

Media contacts

Zubnah Khan
Communications Officer
UNICEF Pacific
Phone. : +679 330 0439 Ext. 175
Phone. : 9988137

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