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To support Fiji’s response to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of New Zealand has fast-tracked a FJD$3.25 million (US$1.45 million) budget support payment for advance release to the Government of Fiji this week.
This funding builds on the FJD$4.47 million (US$2 million) budget support funding provided by New Zealand to the Government of Fiji in late March, which was used to assist Fiji’s health system to prepare for and respond to COVID-19 in the early stages of the pandemic.
In total, the New Zealand Government has provided FJD$7.72 million (US$3.4 million) in direct budget support to the Government of Fiji since late March.
New Zealand’s High Commissioner Jonathan Curr commented that “As a responsive development partner the Government of New Zealand recognises that the timely release of funds to support Fiji’s response to the economic crisis wrought by the pandemic is critical. New Zealand’s disbursement of FJ$7.72 million over the last two months demonstrates the strength of our bilateral relationship and the partnership principles of the Pacific Reset”.
The New Zealand Government’s Budget 2020 announced mid-May delivers an additional NZ$55.6 million (US$34.5 million) for Official Development Assistance in the Pacific, bolstering the New Zealand Aid Programme’s ability to help those most in need.
New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters commented that “Developing countries around the world, and especially the Pacific, have had their livelihoods shattered by COVID-19. For example, tourism – so long a mainstay of Pacific economies – is facing extremely challenging times. New Zealand is supporting our Pacific neighbours in these difficult times and will continue to help them tackle this virus and rebuild their communities and economies which have been badly affected by the global pandemic.”.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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