28 Nov 2021

Govt announces $100m support package for Cook Islands and Fiji

5:14 pm on 28 November 2021

The government has announced a further $100 million to support the Cook Islands and Fiji's Covid-19 response and recovery.

Children and teens being vaccinated in Fiji.

Children and teens being vaccinated in Fiji in September. Photo: Supplied/ Fijian government

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said New Zealand remained committed to the Pacific's economic resilience with $60 million going to the Cook Islands and $40 million to Fiji.

She said tourism in the region would take time to rebuild and the funds would help the governments support their vulnerable citizens.

"While vaccination uptake has been excellent in these countries, rebuilding tourism will take time. This funding will help their governments to continue supporting the needs of their most vulnerable communities," she said.

"It will also contribute to sustaining livelihoods through measures such as social support payments, infrastructure stimulus, and tourism business support."

As well as health and vaccine support, Mahuta said New Zealand would also support other initiatives to contribute to economic resilience. These include improved access to advice and finance for small-medium businesses in the Cook Islands and supporting Fiji to implement reforms to improve the business and investment climate.

The funding brings the total economic support provided to the Cook Islands and Fiji during the global pandemic to $215 million.

During the pandemic, Fiji has reported 52,494 cases of Covid-19 and 696 deaths, while the Cook Island have not had any confirmed cases.

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