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New UNICEF – United States Government partnership to support over a million Pacific Islanders in the battle against COVID-19

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**SUVA, FIJI 15 July 2021 – ** Today, UNICEF and the United States Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announce a new US$1.5 million partnership to support governments around the region, including Fiji, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Marshall Islands, with their preparedness and response plans for COVID-19.

The Unites States Chargé d'Affaires, Tony Greubel, said “The United States is proud to be a partner to governments across the Pacific, including the Ministry of Health in Fiji, to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Strong partnerships and collaboration are critical in our efforts to stop the spread of this virus. This is a unique moment in history, and it requires leadership. We will continue to do all we can to build a world that is safer and more secure against the threat of infectious disease.”

This partnership will support the readiness, delivery, and post-delivery monitoring of COVID-19 vaccines in these Pacific island countries as well as supporting training on the effective management of the vaccines.

UNICEF, through this funding, will provide technical support to and work closely with the ministries of health to strengthen immunisation campaigns and develop effective public health messaging through several platforms to reach people with life-saving information and address misinformation or rumours surrounding vaccines.

Additional support will also be provided to track progress, results, as well as the impacts of the programmes supported through this partnership.

“Children and their communities in every corner of the world are at risk from this pandemic,” said UNICEF Pacific Representative, Sheldon Yett. “We thank the United States Government for its continued and strengthened partnership with UNICEF to ensure that Pacific island countries are able to mount an effective public health response to this crisis.”

This one-year UNICEF and United States Government partnership plays a key part in supporting the ongoing planning and recovery activities in the seven Pacific Island countries. It will strengthen the national capacity and resilience of healthcare systems, families, and communities to cope with COVID-19 and the risks of transmission.

Notes to Editors:

About USAID:

USAID — partners with 12 Pacific Island nations to bolster their ability to lead their countries to stable, prosperous futures. We focus on strengthening disaster preparedness and environmental resilience, health, and democratic governance.

For more information, please contact:

Sanjay Iyer, USAID, saiyer@usaid.gov

Zubnah Khan, UNICEF Pacific, Tel: +679 9988137, zukhan@unicef.org