HONOLULU (Eagle News) – A shipment of U.S. government-funded medical supplies departed by ship from Auckland, New Zealand on Friday, September 18, and is due to arrive in the Samoan capital of Apia on October 5.
U.S. Ambassador to the Independent State of Samoa and New Zealand Scott Brown stated 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,” Brown described. “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 Government of Samoa.
“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,” said the ambassador. “We’re happy to help, and the U.S. Department of Defense through USINDOPACOM [Indo-Pacific Command] stepped up to get it done.”
So far, the federal government has provided more than $20 billion in COVID-related assistance worldwide.
“Today’s shipment comes in addition to the $24.2 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,” Ambassador Brown explained.
Over the last 20 years, the United States has provided over $5.21 billion in assistance to the Pacific Islands.
(With reports from EBC Hawaii Bureau, Eagle News Service)