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Fiji PM Bainimarama thanks Japan for assistance towards COVID-19 response
00:58 am GMT+12, 23/02/2021, Fiji

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama signed a $200million (US$100 million) Emergency Loan for COVID19 Response with the Ambassador of Japan, Kawakami Fumihiro Monday.
 
Prime Minister Bainimarama sincerely thanked the Government and the people of Japan for the solidarity they have shown the people of Fiji throughout this pandemic.
 
“Fiji is a COVID-19 contained country. For more than 300 days we have defended our people from any local transmission of the virus. Today, we are one of the only places in the world where we can gather without risking anyone’s health. But that remarkable achievement is not without a cost.”
 
“With our borders closed, our hotels are empty of tourists, our fleet of planes is virtually grounded, and our tourism Industry has come to a standstill. Government revenues have been sapped at a time when we need unprecedented resources behind building our climate resilience.”
 
PM Bainimarama added that the support from the Japanese Government will allow the Fijian Government to further strengthen Fiji's COVID defences, particularly public health systems, and equip our frontline workers as we prepare to step through the door of a post-pandemic future.
 
PM Bainimarama also sympathised with the people of Japan for the loss of life that they experienced.
 
In response, Ambassador Fumihiro said, “Today is an auspicious day for Japan-Fiji relations, as well as for enhancing Fiji’s resilience against the impact of COVID-19.
 
“It is also my great honour to have formalised this emergency loan with the Prime Minister.”
 
“I am very pleased to say that through this, Japan will provide a total funding of FJ$200 million, which equates to approximately twelve per cent (12%) of Fiji’s total revenue of this fiscal year 2020-2021, with exceptionally concessional conditions such as interest rate of 0.01%, fifteen (15) year repayment period and four (4) year grace period.”
 
The funding includes Stand-by Loan for Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction, rehabilitation for three high schools in Kadavu, the regional project for immunisation strengthening programmes in collaboration with WHO and UNICEF and the detail design phase of the Tamavua-i-wai bridge.

SOURCE: FIJI GOVT/PACNEWS


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