The Government of India has extended financial support of US$ 2,50,000 (NZ$3,75,000 approx.) to the Government of Independent State of Samoa towards relief and rehabilitation of victims and families of a recent measles epidemic.
A certificate of bank transfer was handed over by High Commissioner of India to New Zealand H.E. Mr. Muktesh K. Pardeshi to High Commissioner of Independent State of Samoa to New Zealand H.E. H.E Leasi Papali'i Tommy Scanlan today in Wellington.
Notably, the High Commission of India in Wellington also looks after some Pacific countries including Samoa and Niue.
Speaking to the Indian Weekender Mr Pardeshi said, "The measles epidemic outbreak in Samoa is a great human tragedy. We in India care for the people in Pacific and this is our sincere effort to extend a helping hand to Samoan people in dealing with this crisis."
Mr Pardeshi also emphasised that this financial and technical assistance was a part of India's overall engagement with developing countries al around the world.
It is important to note that the measles epidemic in Samoa had infected more than 5700 people and claimed at least 85 lives, mostly children.
India and Samoa enjoy friendly and cordial relations.
In recent months, India granted (US) $ 1 mn for the launch of Samoa Knowledge Society Initiative under the aegis of India-UN Development Partnership Fund.
Designed as a South-South Cooperation Initiative, it aims to draw on the relevant experience of India while sharing solutions with all the Pacific Island Countries and is aimed to promote knowledge-based sustainable development in Samoa.
India has also set up a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology in Apia and has deputed two personnel from Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) for providing training to Samoan nationals in Information Technology.