“This pandemic is a practice run not just for the pacific but for the whole world in terms of emergency response.“ - Mr. Sanaka Samarasinha
Pacific nations have kept covid-19 at bay so far
Australia is playing a key-role, warehousing medical supplies for the Pacific region on behalf of the UN
Australia is providing vital health and financial support to Pacific states during the crisis
In the sidelines of the upcoming UN initiated Pacific Unite: Saving Lives Together Virtual Concert, NITV Radio caught up with Mr. Sanaka Samarasinha the UN Resident Coordinator for ten countries in the Pacific.
Mr Samarasinha said that so far, the pandemic has spared the Pacific region but now is not the time to let the guards down as evidenced by the situation in New Zealand.
Already among the most remote countries on earth, Pacific island states saw their vital economic links weakened in recent months with the evaporation of tourism, severe disruptions to international trade, and a reduction in remittances.
The Global Community in responding to the pandemic has to bear in mind that the environment remains the major ticking bomb hanging over the region.
“This pandemic is a practice run not just for the pacific but for the whole world in terms of emergency response,“ Mr Samarasinha said.
Mr Samarasinha is delighted that the concert has mobilised tremendous support from world leaders and global celebrities including Prince Charles of the UK, American actor, producer, and director Forest Whitaker, cellist Y0-Yo Ma & Maestro Andrea Bocelli.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Fiji Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Natano are among the many world leaders who’ll address the concert.