USAID supports WFP’s response to COVID-19 in the Pacific
The funding, provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, will bolster a range of activities in logistics and emergency telecommunications that WFP is implementing in the region.
As borders remain closed and commercial aviation services suspended, WFP will soon kickstart humanitarian air services to deliver medical and humanitarian cargo to help governments, humanitarian organizations and health responders respond to the pandemic. The air services support the work of the recently established Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19 by the Pacific Islands Forum.
In the area of emergency telecommunications, WFP helps health authorities across the Pacific through the provision of technical assistance for infrastructure-building, such as COVID hot-lines and call centres, as well as other essential telecommunications networks and systems.
“USAID remains a valued and committed partner to WFP in the Pacific,” said Jo Pilgrim, Director of WFP’s Pacific Multi-Country office. “We are grateful to the United States Government and the American people for their longstanding support. This latest contribution has come at a critical time and will support the Pacific Island governments’ efforts in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on their populations.”
WFP’s COVID-19 response is part of the greater Pacific Humanitarian Team COVID-19 Response Plan - a comprehensive regional response plan that seeks to consolidate efforts by the United Nations agencies, government representatives, regional and multilateral organizations, NGOs, donors and development partners. It aims to harness collective resources and an effective humanitarian response to help governments strengthen healthcare systems, reinforce community engagement, and protects the most vulnerable, especially women, children, the elderly and those living with disabilities or chronic illness, against the pandemic. The funding requirement of the humanitarian response plan is US$35 million.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change. For more information on WFP’s work in the Pacific, go to www.wfp.org/countries/pacific.
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