Japan gives Seychelles $1 million for medical equipment to fight COVID-19
The secretary of the state Marie-Pierre Lloyd (right) said the grant represents a great milestone in the cooperation and bilateral relations. (Daniel Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The government of Japan is giving nearly $1 million to Seychelles to purchase medical equipment to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.
At the signing of the agreement on Wednesday, the Japanese ambassador, Makoto Tominaga, said that while the pandemic is still prevalent in the entire world, Seychelles is lucky not to have had any deaths.
The ambassador said that there is the need "to take collective measures to tackle this situation to prevent huge economic damage and social impact." Japan is giving a grant of 1 million Japanese yen ($950,730).
"As a resident ambassador, I am very pleased to be here on this occasion. As we all know the pandemic is still relevant in the entire world. The number of people infected in the world exceeds 16 million," added Tominaga.
On her side, the secretary of the state in the Department of Health, Marie-Pierre Lloyd, said the grant represents a great milestone in the cooperation and bilateral relations between Japan and Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
"Yes, there is no more new cases in Seychelles. But as we are opening our borders on Aug. 1 to the rest of the world, we need to prepare ourselves. This grant is helping us to do just that," added Lloyd.
The medical equipment that will be purchased with the grant includes bedside x-rays, fibrillators, syringe pumps among others.
Throughout the years, Japan has financially assisted Seychelles, and the latest Japanese grant of $7 million was signed last October to fund projects aimed at improving maritime security.
These include the reconstruction of the Anti-Narcotics Bureau headquarters at Perseverance, a man-made island, specialised equipment and high-speed patrol boats for the maritime police unit and a facility for the storage of marine vessels confiscated as exhibits during operations also falls under the grant.