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Source: New Zealand Government

Aotearoa New Zealand is providing additional support to Fiji to mitigate the effects of the current COVID-19 outbreak on vulnerable households, Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta announced today.

Recognising the increasingly challenging situation in Fiji, Aotearoa will provide an additional package of assistance to support the Government of Fiji and Fijians most affected by the current outbreak,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“The assistance includes up to $5 million for the Government to deliver COVID-19 operations, and $5 million to local civil society organisations working directly with households to mitigate poverty risks, including through the provision of food rations.

“In addition, New Zealand is embedding two medical specialists into a Medical Assistance Team (MAT) alongside our Australian partners to support Fiji in its COVID-19 response,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

A New Zealand anaesthetist will today travel with the six-person Australian team to Fiji on a Fiji Airways flight from Australia and spend seven days in MIQ in Fiji before beginning their 28 day assignment. A New Zealand Defence Force public health/infectious disease specialist will be deployed in the near future.

The team will work with the Fijian Ministry of Health to provide immediate support for health system management and infection prevention control. They will also assist with assessments of Fiji’s priority health needs responding to the current outbreak.

“This assistance will support Fiji to navigate the medium-term challenges posed by COVID-19. New Zealand continues to stand alongside Fiji as it responds to this outbreak and our thoughts are with all affected,” Nania Mahuta said.

The announcement today furthers New Zealand’s package of assistance to date, which includes budget support, operational funding, supplies and equipment.