50,000 KN95 facial masks and 20,000 protective masks have arrived in Nadi, Fiji, to be used in the fight against COVID-19. This essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), destined for Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and French Polynesia is being coordinated through the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19 (PHP-C).
The Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19 (PHP-C) was established by the Pacific Islands Forum to ensure required medical and humanitarian personnel and equipment can efficiently reach Member countries. This donation of PPE from the Jack Ma Foundation is the first time the PHP-C has been used.
“Pacific countries and territories responding to COVID-19 require essential medical supplies, so we welcome this donation by the Jack Ma Foundation. The PHP-C is ensuring the smooth transport of these supplies; our Pacific region is working together and taking care of each other,” said the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor.
The PHP-C provided regional coordination to ensure smooth delivery of these supplies from their origin in Shanghai, to Fiji. The PPE will be handed over to the World Health Organisation for distribution. 45% of supplies are destined for Papua New Guinea and 10% each for New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Fiji. These countries are all battling COVID-19 outbreaks and have requested assistance. The remaining PPE will be a buffer for Pacific Islands Forum member countries.
“This Personal Protective Equipment is just the first delivery facilitated by the PHP-C. We will continue to work with and respond to requests for support from Member countries to combat COVID-19, together with our partners including the Pacific Community, WHO, UN, Forum Dialogue Partners, Pacific private sector and civil society. We are all in this together,” said Dame Meg Taylor.
To prepare and respond to the threat of COVID-19, Pacific countries have put in place exceptional measures to control the movement of people and goods. In some cases, these measures are restricting the movement of medical and humanitarian supplies, equipment and personnel by the WHO and other actors.
The PHP-C addresses this through political leadership and regional coordination of medical and humanitarian assistance between Pacific Islands Forum Member states and regional and international organisations.
The 18 Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum have recognised COVID-19 as a major crisis and have invoked the Biketawa Declaration to collectively respond to COVID-19, as one Blue Pacific family.
Source:Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat