THE People’s Republic of China (PRC) on Friday handed over a cheque of USD150,000 (SBD1.2 million) to the Solomon Islands Government to help with the COVID-19 fight.
Solomon Islands Government remains grateful towards the continued support provided by the government and people of PRC, a statement from the Ministry of Health said.
During the ceremony the Chinese Ambassador to the Solomon Islands, His Excellency. Li Ming handed a cheque of USD150,000 over SBD1.2 million to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon. Jeremiah Manele.
“On behalf of the government of the People’s Republic of China, I am honored to hand over 150 thousand US dollars COVID-19 response funding support to the government and people of Solomon Islands”, stated the Ambassador.
He acknowledged the ongoing work of the government stating the hard work of front-liners in the preservation of public health and safety is greatly admired and appreciated.
“China has always stood together with Solomon Islands in the fight against COVID-19 and remains ready to continue to cooperate with the government to tackle the global pandemic,” he said.
Ambassador Li added that China promotes the concept of building a community with a shared future of mankind, and a community of common health for mankind.
He explained that this is reflected in the prompt response by China to the request of Solomon Islands to support efforts against COVID-19.
“In May this year, China hosted the virtual special meeting on COVID-19 with Pacific Island countries to coordinate policies and share experiences.
China has provided 300 thousand USD dollars funding support to Solomon Islands, helped built the first nucleic testing laboratory and provided 4000 test kits, 200 thousand personal protective equipment to health institutions,” Mr. Li Ming outlined.
He concluded by stating that the support of USD150,000 is part of the ongoing support towards the government of Solomon Islands to ensure that the entry of the virus into the country remains contained and eliminated within those managed facilities.
In his response Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Manele expressed deep appreciation of the Solomon Islands government to the support provided by PRC.
“Your Excellency, the commitment demonstrated by your government since the permanent friendship and existence of diplomatic ties between our two countries simply indicates that that you are indeed a genuine friend,” Mr. Manele said.
“The financial assistance will be utilized for the refurbishment and repurposing the current TB ward at the national referral hospital which will allocate 16 self-contained COVID-19 isolation rooms that will be used to manage critical COVID-19 patients.
“Overall the support received so far from PRC will surely continue to significantly help the country in its efforts to be vigilant in combating and fighting against this common global threat, COVID-19. Thank you indeed, Ambassador”.
The Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Mr. Collin Beck, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Service, Mrs. Pauline McNeil witnessed the signing and handing over of the cheque with officials from both ministries and the PRC embassy.