The consignment consists of 250,000 medical facemasks and 250 woven blankets. This assistance is coordinated collaboratively by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) Emergency Response Coordination Centre with the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific and the Fijian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The assistance was officially handed over this afternoon by Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
The European Union Ambassador to Fiji and for the Pacific, His Excellency Sujiro Seam reiterated the European Union’s commitment to support Fiji and the region to contain the second wave of COVID-19:
‘‘Team Europe –the European Union, its 27 Member States and financial institutions, responded to the coronavirus outbreak in Fiji last year through a combination of Budget Support to the Government of Fiji, assistance to Civil Society Organisations and measures to strengthen the health system through the World Health Organisation and the Pacific Community. Today, the Government of Austria, one of the Member States of the European Union, donates to the Government of Fiji 250,000 medical masks and 250 woven blankets.”
Ambassador Seam also provided an overview of the overall assistance to Fiji coordinated by the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific in Suva.
‘‘The European Union stands in solidarity with the people of Fiji in these difficult times. We continue to help Fiji fight the second wave of the pandemic by providing critical personal protective equipment and testing equipment to the Ministry of Health, Budget Support to the Ministry of Economy, as well as vaccination through the COVAX facility and support to the most vulnerable communities through partner Civil Society Organisations.’’
The Austrian Ambassador to Fiji, in residence in Canberra, His Excellency Wolfgang Strohmayer, declared:
“Austria and Fiji share a long history of close friendship and cooperation in many fields. The assistance of Austria to the Government and the people of Fiji underscores our close relations and spirit of mutual support. Let us remember and commend that the Covid-19 management in Fiji is recognised as one of the most successful in the world with almost no cases over the past year. I am very confident that the Government of Fiji will contain the current outbreak and Austria is pleased to contribute to this endeavour to keep the people of Fiji safe from Covid-19.”
Honourable Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete has conveyed the Fijian Government’s and Ministry of Health and Medical Services appreciation to the Government of Austria, and Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific for this generous assistance to Fiji.
“Our sincere appreciation and acknowledgement to the Government of Austria, and Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific for this tremendous support and commitment towards assisting Fiji at this time of great need.
“This assistance will assist our frontline workers and health institutions to safely and effectively deliver an enhanced public health response that is required to trace and contain the transmission of the virus in our communities and protecting the lives of our fellow Fijians."
“Indeed this support demonstrates the enhanced levels of cooperation between Fiji and Team Europe,” Dr. Waqainabete said.