UNICEF welcomes an additional US$7.3 million grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide urgent medical supplies in 13 countries across the Pacific islands to support governments in the ongoing response to COVID-19.

This grant is on top of the US$600,000 provided in March 2020 bringing ADB’s total COVID-19 support through UNICEF in the Pacific to US$7.9 million. 

UNICEF has been working with Pacific governments to help prevent the spread of the virus among communities. This grant will be used to buy medical supplies and personal protective equipment in the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

“We thank ADB for its continued and strengthened partnership with UNICEF to respond to the COVID-19 crisis across the Pacific,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Pacific Representative. “The virus is a threat to people everywhere. Together with partners like ADB, we can make sure that health systems are well prepared, and that families and children receive the support and care they need during this challenging time.”

The assistance for these critical emergency medical supplies comes from ADB’s overall package of $20 billion to help its members deal with the pandemic. Together with partners such as UNICEF, ADB is working to mitigate the health, economic, and social impact of this crisis in Asia and the Pacific. The assistance from ADB and UNICEF is being conducted in close collaboration with the World Health Organization.

“We appreciate the opportunity to partner with UNICEF to procure personal protective equipment and other emergency supplies as the Pacific region responds rapidly to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ADB Director General for the Pacific, Leah Gutierrez.

UNICEF, ADB, together with Pacific island governments, civil society and other development partners, will help to strengthen the country capacity with technical support for both hardware (provision of essential supplies and equipment) and development components in the areas of health, water, sanitation, hygiene, and social protection to enable frontline workers and communities to protect themselves against COVID-19. PACNEWS

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