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Measles overseas aid to be declared in Parliament

Financial assistance for the measles epidemic from overseas has amounted to more than $22.4 million to date and will this week be tabled before Parliament for scrutiny. 

The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi on Saturday confirmed the tabling of a supplementary budget to reflect the influx of overseas assistance from other nations and international organisations:  

“This will be included in the supplementary budget and will be table before Parliament on Tuesday for the lawmakers to go through it. A total of $9.3 million from overseas partners and $706,000 local donations will be included in this supplementary and where the money will be spent," he said. 

The Prime Minister stated this position was endorsed in Cabinet on Saturday afternoon. He made it clear there are already people accusing the Government of misappropriating the donations. 

“But that is not true. No one can use these funds, not even a penny,” he said, explaining the funds are being monitored by the Ministry of Finance. 

“The funds will go before Parliament for their deliberation and there will be Committee hearings conducted with the relevant ministries that will get funding from these donations.”

Financial assistance for the crisis include T$34 million (US$12.8 million) from the World Bank to manage the measles epidemic and fix the health system over the next five years.

A grant of US$3.5 million (T$9.3 million) will go towards the measles epidemic response, and a further $9.3 million (T$24.7 million) will be spent between 2020 and 2025 on a health sector strengthening programme that will focus on disease prevention across the board. 

Last week, the Methodist Church donated over $100,000 tala cash together with patient beds and bedding to the Government as part of its contribution to the fight against the measles epidemic.

The National Emergency Operation Centre has advised the public that all donations will go through their office. 

For the duration of the Proclamation of Emergency, the General Public is hereby advised of the following:

All organisations or Individuals who wish to donate towards the measles epidemic may do so through the National Emergency Operation Centre (N.E.O.C.) located at the old Post Office across from the A.N.Z. Bank on Beach Road.  N.E.O.C. is responsible for the coordination of ALL assistance and donations.  

For those who wish to make monetary donations, please use the B.S.P. G.OS. Direct Transfer Fund Account below: 

Account Name: BSP GOS Direct Transfer Fund Account

Account Number: 2001-123104

Bank Name:  Bank South Pacific Limited

Bank Address: Beach Road, Apia, SAMOA

Swift Code: BOSPWSWS

Donors are advised to add the narrative: “Measles Emergency Operations” when making deposits. For further information, contact 997.

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