SUVA, Fiji – The United States donated 23,400 life-saving doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to Kiribati through the COVAX Facility – a partnership co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization (WHO), with UNICEF as the key delivery partner. This donation is the first tranche of a total of 53,820 Pfizer doses the United States will deliver to Kiribati to help address its ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. As the world’s largest donor to the global COVID-19 response, the United States has to date provided more than $19 billion in health, humanitarian, and economic assistance and has committed to provide 1.2 billon vaccine doses to the world free of charge, of which we have already provided more than 542 million doses.
Chargé d’Affaires (CDA) Tony Greubel said “We are using the power of our democracy, the ingenuity of American scientists, and the strength of American manufacturing to deliver life-saving vaccines around the world. We are proud to deliver 23,400 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to our friends in Kiribati.”
The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), provided a total of $52 million to prevent and respond to the spread of COVID-19 in Pacific Island nations. USAID partnered with humanitarian organizations on the ground in Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu to mitigate the consequences of COVID-19 in the region. These efforts included distributing hygiene supplies, installing handwashing stations and water tanks at strategic points, and raising awareness about COVID-19 and how to stay healthy. As part of this effort, USAID donated ventilators to Kiribati and supported frontline health workers with technical training to safely use and maintain the ventilators.
For decades, the United States has been the world’s largest provider of bilateral assistance in health. Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested over $5.21 billion in assistance to the Pacific Islands.