US Government Provides Additional ST$27 Million Tala for Pacific Island Countries

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The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing an additional US$9.9 million (ST$27m) to help Pacific Island countries respond to COVID-19.

USAID has also provided Papua New Guinea separately with US$3.5 million (ST$9.5m) for COVID-19 response, while total U.S. Government assistance to all Pacific Island countries for COVID-19 response to date exceeds US$45.8 million.

Scott Brown, US Embassy in New Zealand.. NICK PERRY/AP

The newest tranche of assistance from the American people will enable USAID to work with 12 Pacific Island countries, namely the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations to combat disinformation and protect the rights of vulnerable and marginalized populations.

The U.S. Government will also provide grants to private sector and civil society partners to implement community and national-level activities that will boost partner countries’ resilience and their ability to respond to the economic and social impacts of COVID-19.  We are partnering with Pacific Island governments and coordinating closely with like-minded partners in the region to link U.S. Government assistance with the regional health sector and humanitarian response.

This additional investment supports USAID’s continued work to assist governments in preparing laboratory systems, activating case-finding and event-based surveillance, and supporting technical experts for COVID-19 response and preparedness. USAID will also advance risk communication, strengthen infection prevention and control in health facilities, and improve logistics and coordination.

“The United States and Samoa are close and enduring partners in the Pacific, with our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Ambassador Scott Brown.  “As we continue to bolster the ability of countries in the region to lead their development journeys, we remain committed to supporting our Pacific partners in addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Worldwide, the United States continues to lead efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic, having invested more than US$900 million in emergency health, humanitarian, economic, and development assistance to date.

Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested over US$5.21 billion in assistance to the Pacific Islands region. Over the past decade, the United States has invested more than US$620 million for health in the Pacific Islands.

US Embassy Office in Apia housed in the ACC Building

For more information about USAID’s response to COVID-19, please visit: https://www.usaid.gov/coronavirus-covid-19