On June 12, 2020, the Exchange of Notes took place for the Grant Aid for the Economic and Social Development Programme, amounting to 382 million Japanese Yen or approximately 3.5 million US Dollars for the procurement of health and medical equipment between Mr. SOBASHIMA Hidenobu, Ambassador of Japan to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Honorable Kandhi Elieisar, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the FSM, in Palikir.
In the FSM, because travel restrictions have been imposed from an early stage, no case of COVID-19 has been confirmed yet. On the other hand, due to prolonged restrictions on visits and transportation of people and goods, the FSM’s economy, whose main industry is tourism, has been seriously affected. Thus, the FSM Government envisions the relaxation of travel restrictions, formulating a contingency plan to prepare for possible confirmed cases of COVID-19. However, the FSM as a whole seems to lack sufficient medical equipment, with each State hospital seems the same, working with limited available facilities and human resources. This Programme is expected to contribute to the strengthening of countermeasures against infectious diseases and of the health and medical systems in the FSM by procuring medical equipment such as mobile clinics and ICU beds.
The spread of COVID-19 on a global scale is a major threat to the economy and society of all countries including Japan, at present when the visits of people and the transportation of goods are developing globally, and thus this is an issue that the whole international community should cooperate to tackle. In particular, the prevention of the spread of infection diseases, particularly in the developing countries where the health and medical systems are vulnerable, is extremely important and an urgent issue, as it has a direct bearing on the health and safety of people there, including Japanese residents, and it is related to preventing the international flows of infectious diseases including their possible inflows into Japan, affecting the international community including Japan’s economy and society.
Japan intends to play a leading role in the efforts of the international community, by supporting the countries with vulnerable health and medical systems, with a view to calming down the COVID-19 infection as soon as possible.
At the 8th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM8) held in May 2018, Japan declared "Strengthening the Basis for Resilient and Sustainable Development" as an important pillar of its support, and the cooperation to be extended embodies this declaration.
To read the speech by Ambassador Sobashima, please click here