Cooks receive Covid-19 grant from Japan

Thursday June 25, 2020 Written by Published in Economy
High Commissioner Elizabeth Wright-Koteka and Ambassador Kobayashi signing the grant aid agreement. 20061715 High Commissioner Elizabeth Wright-Koteka and Ambassador Kobayashi signing the grant aid agreement. 20061715

A grant of approximately $1.3m intended to assist the country for Covid-19 preparedness and the procurement of medical equipment for Rarotonga Hospital has been provided by the Embassy of Japan.

Cook Islands High Commissioner Elizabeth Wright-Koteka said they made the request to the Embassy in March for Covid-19 support.

She said the implementation of the project will be overseen by a committee, consisting of officials from both governments and chaired by a representative from Cook Islands Ministry of Finance and Economic Management.

The grant is under Japan’s Economic and Social Development Programme and it is part of the commitment made by Japan to Cook Islands at the Eighth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM 8), held in Tokyo in 2018, to further improve social services including healthcare and education in the Pacific.

Wright-Koteka in recalling previous grants as well as the grass-root assistance and the interaction between Japan and the Cook Islands, said the cooperation between the two countries and the support offered by Japan, was testament to a genuine partnership, and demonstrated that Japan acts upon its commitments, which have directly benefited the people at grassroots level.

Japanese Ambassador to New Zealand, Hiroyasu Kobayashi said: “I am delighted that through this project, Japan can assist the Cook Islands in meeting its urgent medical needs, as well as support its economic and social development in the long term.”

The first committee meeting for the grant project is expected to be held within the next few months.

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