A shipment of U.S. government-funded medical supplies leaves Auckland this afternoon bound for Samoa.
Ambassador Scott Brown, U.S. Ambassador to both Samoa and New Zealand, says he was honored to have the opportunity to assist with packing out the shipment.
“The PPE we’re sending includes nearly 100,000 pairs of gloves, tens of thousands of masks, hundreds of surgical gowns, and huge volumes of hand sanitizer,” says Ambassador Brown. “These supplies will help protect healthcare workers should they be called upon to put their lives at risk to treat COVID patients.”
The shipment comes in response to a request from the island nation’s Government.
“Although Samoa is currently COVID-free, the Samoan Government asked us to help them procure medical supplies to have on standby in case the virus reaches their islands,” says Ambassador Brown. “We’re happy to help and the U.S. Department of Defense through US INDOPACOM stepped up to get it done.”
Worldwide the United States Government has given more than $US20 billion in COVID-related assistance.
“Today’s shipment comes in addition to the $US24.2 million that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has already provided to our NGO partners to help prepare and respond to COVID in the South Pacific,” says Ambassador Brown.
Over the last 20 years, the United States Government has provided over $US5.21 billion in assistance to the Pacific Islands. Over the last decade, the United States has invested more than $US620 million for health in the Pacific Islands.
The ship carrying these supplies is due to arrive in Apia on October 5th.