16 Jul 2021

Pacific Forum hands over medical supplies to Fiji

5:00 pm on 16 July 2021

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has handed over medical supplies to the Fiji Government as it battles the surge of Covid-19 cases.

The personal protective equipment, or PPE, was donated by the Jack Ma Foundation to the Forum.

This file picture taken on September 5, 2018 shows flags from the Pacific Islands countries being displayed in Yaren on the last day of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).

Photo: AFP / Mike Leyral

Forum Secretary General, Henry Puna, said it had been very difficult watching the events in Fiji, but he is heartened by the vaccination uptake across the country.

He says he hopes 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.

Puna is encouraging the Forum's Dialogue Partners and members of the international community to increase their support to the region.

He said "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."

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.