The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) Asia-Pacific Regional Office in collaboration with the UNOSSC Cities project team and its partners in China’s Fujian Province and Wuhan City mobilized Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and medical supplies worth FJ$160,000 to support Fiji’s national effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
With logistics support from UNDP China Country Office, the consignment arrived this week into Fiji consisting of 600,000 disposable masks and 10,000 disposable coveralls. In addition, the UN Office for South-South Cooperation contributed USD$15,000 worth of beds, linens and pillowcases in support of the collaboration with Fiji through the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Suva, Fiji.
The PPEs were formally handed over by the UNDP Resident Representative for the Pacific Office and UN Resident Coordinator a.i. Mr. Levan Bouadze to the Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete at the IMT Warehouse in Suva.
In his remarks, Mr. Bouadze expressed his appreciation to the Hon. Minister for Health, his officials, and front liners for their hard work, around the clock. “The COVID-19 pandemic has put enormous burden on healthcare systems not only here in Fiji but also around the world, it has stretched national capacities to the breaking point and created shortages of life saving medical supplies and equipment.”
Mr Bouadze added, “In this collective fight against the pandemic, I want to assure you that the UN is working on multiple tracks in support of the Government of Fiji to manage the pandemic and build back better from it especially for the marginalized and the most vulnerable in the community.”
In his statement congratulating all the partners, Mr Adel Abdellatif, UNOSSC Director a.i. noted that this is a good example of how South-South cooperation can respond to the needs of the countries that the UN serves, with every UN entity using its leverage to contribute to a common objective.
He also pointed out that many countries applauded the role that the South-South Cooperation has played in these challenging times, and the UNOSSC will continue to facilitate recovery action, in line with other approaches including green recovery and building back better.
In response, Minister Waqainabete acknowledged the timely assistance provided by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and its generous Chinese partners, including the government of Fujian Province and the Wuhan Zonsen Group.
He said the PPEs are essential resource for the health care professionals and such assistance rendered by Fiji’s development partners complement the commendable efforts of thousands of Fiji’s frontline workers who have dedicated their lives to serve the nation and safeguard the wellbeing of their fellow Fijians.
Hon Waqainabete said the assistance will enhance Health Ministry’s efforts to safely and effectively deliver the public health response to contain the pandemic, and ultimately move forward to recovery.
The UNOSSC Regional Office for Asia-Pacific continues to support the South-South cooperation in this dynamic, fast-growing and diversified region.
The Asia-Pacific Office facilitates knowledge exchanges, forging strategic partnerships through South-South and triangular cooperation, mapping Southern development solutions, and undertaking outreach, advocacy and strategic communication on issues of critical importance to the South that call for South-South dialogue and solutions. As many of the countries and their respective institutions work outside the Asia-Pacific, the Office similarly works on intra-regional and inter-regional initiatives.