Koror, Palau: With support from theGovernment of Japan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office has delivered a range of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to Palau International Airport.

This delivery was made with thanks to UNDP’s Strengthening Border Control Capacity Project, which aims to support border management agencies in Fiji, Palau, and Vanuatu to reinforce their capacities and systems for inter-agency and cross-regional cooperation.

While we find ourselves in the period of what many are now labelling our ‘new normal’, Pacific Island nations are coming to grips with finding the balance between living with the COVID-19 virus, while ensuring that the necessary safety and security protocols at borders remain in place.

This PPE delivery, including items such as gloves, masks, face shields and Rapid Antigen Tests, will ensure the safety and wellbeing of frontline workers – including women – at Palau International Airport as travelers return to the island nation.

Japan’s Ambassador to the Republic of Palau, Akira Karasawa, attended the handover ceremony and affirmed his nation’s commitment toward the safe passage of goods and travelers to and from the island nation.

“On behalf of the Government of Japan I would like to reiterate our commitment to further strengthening our partnership with the Pacific, a partnership underpinned by mutual trust and respect. Of our priority areas of cooperation, COVID-19 response and recovery remains high on our agenda, and this area of focus links with the key themes and objectives of the Strengthening Border Control Capacity Project,” Ambassador Karasawa said.

This delivery comes on the back of a two-day regional consultation on integrated border management, bringing together key national actors from Fiji, Palau and Vanuatu. The two-day event held in Denarau discussed best-practices and lessons learned on integrated border management, in both pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 environments.

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative for the North Pacific, Mr. Kevin Petrini said that the delivery will assist Palau to maintain safe and effective border management protocols.

“The COVID-19 pandemic taught border agencies here in the Pacific several important lessons about operational preparedness in times of crisis. This delivery will ensure that UNDP continues its work to support Palau in improving security and safety at its international airport,” Mr. Petrini said.

The Project for Strengthening Border Control Capacity is supported by the Government of Japan, with UNDP working alongside key partners – the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

For further media enquiries please contact:

Rustam Pulatov, Project Manager, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji. (P) +679 3312 500 – (E) rustam.pulatov@undp.org

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