Over $17.6m of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response has been announced by New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

The package builds on previous tranches of assistance New Zealand has provided to Fiji, totaling over $73.5m.

Mahuta says Fiji remains in a very challenging position in response to COVID-19 and this latest package will help to continue assisting the most vulnerable communities over the next 12 months.

The new package will support ongoing equipment and supply needs, including testing capacity, oxygen supply, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) stocks.

It will also be directed towards urgent and essential operational costs, technical assistance, surge support for government operations, and support for monitoring of community isolation cases.

New Zealand will also contribute over $1.4m to the International Red Cross Global Appeal for COVID-19 tagged to support the Fiji Red Cross Society’s National Response Plan focused on vaccine roll-out, blood donations, and training of volunteers for home-based care.

This latest announcement is in addition to the assistance announced for Fiji last month, including delivery of 100,000 doses of vaccines and funding the recruitment of 190 Fiji graduate nurses to provide surge capacity across the health system.