The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is assisting Fiji with logistics equipment and logistical support with WFP Pacific Humanitarian Air Service transporting 1.6 million medical supplies and 9,450 diagnostic testing kits urgently required Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) on behalf of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
WFP assistance valued at USD $600,000 is to support Fiji’s national response to the second wave of COVID-19.
The logistics capacity support includes donation of 1 (one) Mobile Warehouse and 1 (one) Forklift for donation to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) to enhance the efficiency of PPE storage and coordination.
WFP’s Pacific Humanitarian Air Service provided timely delivery of the UNICEF’s PPE donation (107 cubic metres) to Fiji by arranging two charter flights to Fiji, last week.
Director WFP’s Office in the Pacific, Ms Jo Pilgrim said the assistance is provided in appreciation of the Fijian Government’s national response to contain COVID-19.
“WFP is pleased to be able to support the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services at this crucial time with solutions for expanded warehousing capacity and expedient transport of urgently required PPE for the protection of Fiji’s tireless health workers.
“WFP’s Pacific Humanitarian Air Service is an important tool that supports the rapid movement of urgently required medical supplies, especially in situations like this one when large volumes of life-saving PPE needed to be transported quickly.
“With generous funding from the Governments of Australia and the USA, and the European Union, WFP’s Pacific Humanitarian Air Service has transported, including these latest flights, in excess of 2300 cubic metres of essential cargo across the Pacific in support of Pacific governments’ responses to both COVID-19 and natural disasters (Tropical Cyclones Yasa and Ana in Fiji and Typhoon Surigae in Palau),” Ms. Pilgrim said.
She also acknowledged the collaborative efforts of the respective ministries for their partnership with WFP.
“WFP appreciates the support and partnership of the Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Fiji Civil Aviation Authority and Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services in the operation of WFP’s Pacific Humanitarian Air Service, which is an important asset to the COVID-19 response in the region.
“WFP is grateful to our donors – USAID, the Government of Australia and the European Union for their continued support for WFP’s operations in the Pacific and the Pacific Humanitarian Air Service, which is an important asset to the COVID-19 response in the region,” Ms. Pilgrim said.
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 United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for their swift assistance to Fiji.
“We thank the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Governments of Australia and the USA, and the European Union for their remarkable support towards Fiji’s response effort for this second wave of COVID-19 cases.
“This timely and generous assistance will greatly assist our health care professionals 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."
“This support also speaks highly of Fiji’s strengthened collaboration with its international and regional development partners and their commitment to support Fiji at this time of great need is highly commended,” Dr. Waqainabete said.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation and a global leader in humanitarian logistics. WFP operates the Pacific humanitarian Air Service on behalf of the humanitarian community and Pacific governments in support to the Pacific’s response to COVID-19.