F.S.M. donates US$100,000 to measles effort

The Federated States of Micronesia (F.S.M.) government will be donating US$100,000 to Samoa to support the fight against the measles epidemic.

The decision of the F.S.M. government has been conveyed to Apia by the US territory’s President David Panuelo.

The 21st sitting of the F.S.M. Congress passed the second reading of the congressional bill 21-107 last Friday, consequently approving the payment of the donation to the Samoa government.

The Congress had been advised that the congressional bill will enable the Samoa government fund “the highly infectious and deadly measles disease”, affecting the country’s most vulnerable population, young children and the elderly.

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“To the knowledge of the F.S.M. national government as of November 30, 2019 the total number of measles infections in Samoa was approximately 3,000. Samoa’s total population is approximately 197,000 individuals, and so the number of infections is both high in absolute terms as well as a proportion of the population,” the F.S.M. government said in a statement.

President Panuelo has written to Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi to advise him of the funding support from his  government. 

“Prime Minister, I want you to know that the people and Government of the [F.S.M.] express our utmost condolences and sympathies for the recent fatalities stemming from this Measles outbreak. We stand with you in solidarity. It is important for Members of the Pacific Islands Forum to be one together.” 

The F.S.M. and Samoa share historical ties and friendship and through marriage, according to President Panuelo.

“Hearing about children dying just absolutely breaks my heart. To our own people, citizens of the F.S.M., get yourselves and your family vaccinated. I can’t emphasize this enough,” he said in a statement. 

“It’s not just your own family at risk if you don’t get the right vaccinations—it’s the entire country at risk. With this assistance on its way the people of Samoa can only give thanks to their Pacific island neighbours for their generous support.”

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