Samoa's post-measles outbreak recovery will be supported by a boost of almost 150,000 Western Samoa Tala after a Rarotonga fundraiser and national prayer service for the nation raised just over $84,000.
The amount, in Samoa value as a transfer, was formally received by the Samoa High Commissioner to New Zealand Leasi Papali'i Scanlan, during a meeting on Thursday (CI time) with Prime Minister Henry Puna at Samoa House in Mangere.
In his acceptance and thank-you speech, High Commissioner Scanlan said the loss of 81 lives in the outbreak was “heartbreaking” and was being followed by a time of reflection in Samoa on next steps. He told Puna if any good was to come of the state of emergency, it was that Samoa now has a record 95 per cent of the population vaccinated and a law on universal vaccination in place.
“Samoa has been blessed to have not just the usual development partners in Australia and New Zealand, but friends like the Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea, Fiji and as far away as Norway, Israel, the UK and USA providing medical personnel and supplies to support the state of emergency response.”
High Commissioner Scanlan thanked PM Puna for the donation funds, prayers, thoughts and condolences from the Cook Islands for those affected by the measles outbreak.
Puna and his chief of staff, Ben Ponia conducted the handover during an Auckland stopover en route to the United States for meetings.
More than 80 people have now died as a result of Samoa’s measles outbreak.