Samoa and Australia combat COVID-19 together.

By Marc Membrere 30 May 2020, 10:00AM

In recent months, Samoa and Australia have supported each other to combat challenges such as the Samoan measles epidemic and Australian bushfires and are now working together to combat COVID-19.

According to a press release from the Australian High Commission Samoa, the Australian Government has committed WST18.4 million (AUD 10.5 million) in response to the economic and health shocks caused by COVID-19, and it is working in partnership with the Government of Samoa to deliver this support package.

The funding agreement was signed on Friday by Australian High Commissioner, Sara Moriarty, and Minister of Finance Sili Epa Tuioti.

The package will support the Government and the health sector to prepare and respond to COVID-19.

Additional funding will be delivered through Non-governmental organisations, such as ADRA and Nuanua o le Alofa, to support Samoa’s most vulnerable citizens.

Ms. Moriarty commented that Australia is working in partnership with Samoa to support the delivery of health services and assist those affected by the economic impacts of the pandemic.

“Australia stands with Samoa as we face COVID-19 together. This goes to the very heart of Step-up in the Pacific, and builds on our long history of support, in good times and in bad,” she said.

“We look forward to building on this support through Australia’s new development strategy, Partnerships for Recovery, which outlines how Australia will tackle the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic with our partners in the Indo-Pacific.”

Australia is also supporting Pacific island countries to detect and prevent the spread of COVID-19, with the delivery of new GeneXpert testing equipment, working with the Pacific Community (SPC), WHO, the United States, and New Zealand. To date, Samoa has received 440 GeneXpert cartridges.

This support forms part of Australia’s new development policy, Partnerships for Recovery: Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response. It focuses efforts on health security, stability, and economic recovery in our near neighborhood, particularly the Pacific, Timor-Leste and Indonesia, and is underpinned by a strong emphasis on protecting the most vulnerable, especially women and girls.

By Marc Membrere 30 May 2020, 10:00AM

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