TAIWANESE military officers engaged in a United States-Taiwan-Solomon Islands Humanitarian Assistance, Disaster Relief and Health Emergency exercise in Honiara over the past three days, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare last Friday.
The trilateral exercise saw the deployment of 10 military personnel of Taiwan and six military personnel of the United States to Solomon Islands to work with the staff of the National Referral Hospital and Immigration Department.
The Taiwanese Ambassador to Solomon Islands, Victor Te-sun Yu when introducing the Taiwanese military personnel to the Prime Minister, said the military personnel from Taiwan together with their counterparts from the United States were involved in raising awareness on health and disaster issues.
The Ambassador said he appreciated the effort put into the trilateral exercise by all military personnel involved and also the Solomon Islanders who worked alongside them during the three-day exercise.
He said it is very useful to raise awareness on health issues and disaster risk reduction and is hopeful that the exercise has been helpful to the Solomon Islanders engaged by strengthening their capacity attend to any worst case health or disaster emergency situation.
In acknowledging the military personnel for their contribution to the trilateral exercise, the Prime Minister said healthcare is one of the biggest challenge facing Solomon Islands.
He said healthcare receives one of the biggest allocations in the annual national budget and it is an area that Solomon Islands donor partners and some churches continue to heavily invest in.
The Prime Minister said environmental issues also continue to be a significant agenda for Solomon Islands and the wider Pacific region, adding that they dominate discussions at the 47th Pacific Islands Forum summit which is underway in the Federated States of Micronesia.
He said the 10th Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders and World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature held in Honolulu recently were also dominated by environmental issues and this goes to show how critical the issue of environment is to Pacific island states including Solomon Islands.
And as healthcare and environmental issues, which are related to disaster preparedness, are amongst some of the greatest challenges facing Solomon Islands, Prime Minister Sogavare said he is profoundly grateful for the assistance Taiwan and the United States have provided to Solomon Islands under the trilateral exercise.
He said Taiwan continues to contribute in a significant way to humanitarian and disaster relief efforts across the globe and these invaluable contributions are worthy of recognition by the international community.
– PM’s Press Secretary