United States donated 23,400 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to Kiribati through the COVAX Facility, in what is the first tranche of a total of 53,820 doses that will be provided to the Pacific Island nation.
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 donation brings to 542 million doses the US has provided to the world free of charge, more than half of the 1.2 billion vaccine doses it has committed to providing to assist countries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the Pacific alone, the US, 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.