The second wave of COVID-19 in Fiji continues to record high number of COVID-19 infections. The support provided to the Fiji Muslim League’s Makoi Women's Vocational Training Centre, Sai Perma Foundation and Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Fiji enables these NGOs to provide free reusable masks and hand sanitizers to the most affected communities to protect them and their families from this outbreak in Viti Levu.
At the handover, the European Union Ambassador to Fiji and for the Pacific, HE Sujiro Seam said: “Like last year, I was not able to host the Day of Europe celebration on 9 May, so I decided to repurpose the corresponding budget, with 3 goals in mind: first, focus on something useful for the most vulnerable communities in Fiji and masks and hand sanitizers serve that purpose; second, work with Fijian local businesses and I am happy we were able to source the masks from Zuber Fiji and the hand sanitizer from Fiji Chemicals; third, work with our civil society partners and I am grateful to the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the Fiji Muslim League and the Sai Prema Foundation for organising the distribution of the masks and hand sanitizer funded by the European Union”.
Sai Prema Foundation’s Dr. Krupali Tappoo said she was very grateful to the European Union for the donation: “It is essential that individuals protect themselves against the transmission of Covid and it is proven that wearing masks and sanitising is the most effective solution amongst other protective measures. Sai Prema Foundation is extremely grateful to the European Union for choosing to use our Foundation to distribute these masks and hand sanitizers into the community. We have been serving the needy families in Fiji with food rations and especially into communities which have been locked down. We will now include these masks and sanitizers as part of the ration packages to each family.” said Dr. Krupali Tappoo.
‘‘Fiji Muslim League and its Makoi Women’s Vocational Centre are deeply indebted to European Union and Ambassador Seam for the generous contribution of face masks and sanitizers. Fiji Muslim League is actively involved in distributing food packs to needy families - during these difficult times of unemployment, lockdown and overall financial constraints faced by many families. Integral to the needs of the family is to be equipped with preventive gear such as face masks and hand sanitizers. These are costly items to procure, and the timely provision of these items by the EU mission synchronizes with our grocery / food distribution effort. We thank the EU mission’s local team for their kind contribution. ” said the Chairman of the Fiji Muslim League, Mr. Bashir Ahmed.
ADRA Fiji Country Director Iliapi Tuwai said: “We are appreciative of the European Union’s generous donations and continuous efforts to help the Fijian Government contain COVID-19. Being appropriately protected is vital for every Fijian, particularly in keeping the most vulnerable residents as safe as possible during this second outbreak. ADRA Fiji is pleased to be a distribution arm chosen by EU to help keep Fiji safe.”
Wearing mask and regularly cleaning hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer, together with keeping distance and avoiding crowds, prove effective in suppressing the transmission of this deadly virus and saving lives. However, access to masks and hand sanitizer may be a challenge for the most vulnerable communities. This donation by the European Union aims to alleviate their burden.
Ambassador Seam urges everyone to respect the protocols put in place by the authorities to fight this second wave of COVID-19 outbreak. In the meantime, the European Union continues to stand with Fiji, assisting with the supply of personal protective equipment, testing equipment, vaccination through the COVAX facility and budget support.