Japan offers $4.6 million grant assistance

The Japan government will offer Samoa a ¥200,000,000 (approximately WST$4.6 million) grant to assist the country with its COVID-19 related pandemic response.

Japan’s Ambassador to Samoa, Terasawa Genichi confirmed the grant presentation in response to questions sent by the Samoa Observer.

He said the grant is part of Japan’s assistance to Samoa’s pandemic preparations and response to the coronavirus.

“Japan provides grants to procure medical equipment including container-based negative pressure isolation units,” he said.

An exchange of notes between the two Governments was signed on Tuesday by caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi and Mr. Terasawa.

Ambassador Terasawa said that Japan has extended assistance to Samoa to support its COVID-19 response.

“In the health sector, Japan has also provided grant aid of US$1.38 million for Samoa to procure medical equipment including ultra-low temperature freezers,” he added.

“Regarding equitable access to vaccines for Pacific Island Countries and developing countries, Japan has so far announced its financial contribution of US$200 million in total to COVAX Facility. 

“Japan provides emergency grant aid through UNICEF to provide cold chain equipment.”

The grant assistance announced by the Ambassador is from Japan’s Economic and Social Development Programme, which will enable the procurement of much needed negative pressure isolation units to assist Samoa’s preparatory and response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Container-based single patient negative pressure isolation units will be equipped with ventilators and monitors required for COVID patients as well as other furnishings. 

Japan continues to provide significant contributions to complement the Samoa Government's efforts in the health sector with regard to combating infectious diseases like the COVID-19 pandemic as well as promoting socio-economic development in Samoa. 

Mr. Terasawa said the exchange of notes confirms the friendship and warm relations between Samoa and Japan, with the intention that the development cooperation between the two nations is based on mutual respect and benefits will continue to be enhanced and further deepened.

He said that Japan assists Samoa to strengthen its platform for sustainable economic growth including infrastructure, strengthening its fiscal soundness and improving its basic social services as well as adhering environmental conservation and climate change.

“For instance, in addressing development needs in the areas such as education, health, water supply and the environment, Japan provides Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects for 206 projects in Samoa at the total amount of US $17 million (approximately SAT $41 million) since 1991.” 

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