Port Moresby – 8 February 2022: The United Nations Development Programme continues procurement of new ambulances in support of efforts to address ongoing pressures of the latest COVID-19 surge on Papua New Guinea’s rural health system.
As the number of infected people continues to soar, emergency response services in rural regions are in need of effective ambulance services. On presenting a new ambulance today to the Government of Papua New Guinea for designation to Finschhafen District in Morobe Province, the UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Dirk Wagener explained that the ambulance will “help to address some of the pressure, but we must lift vaccination rates and raise community awareness as an absolute priority,” Mr Wagener said. He thanked the Government of India for its generous support.
The Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS, Hon. Jelta Wong, Indian High Commissioner Shri Inbasekar, and the Member for Finschhafen, Hon. Rainbo Paita were present during the handover at the United Nations Development Programme Office, in Port Moresby.
“This ongoing support from UNDP and partners will provide valuable strengthening to Papua New Guinea’s provincial COVID response,” said Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS, Hon. Jelta Wong.
UNDP procured 10 new ambulances with the generous assistance of the Government of India through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund. The first two ambulances were handed over in 2021 and assigned to St. John’s Ambulance Services to boost capacities to cope with recent surges.
Additional new ambulances are expected to arrive in Papua New Guinea in 2022 to be handed over to the Department of Health for assignment throughout the country. The United Nations Development Programme has played a critical and wide-ranging role in supporting Papua New Guinea’s national COVID-19 response efforts. UNDP has supported the Government with critical humanitarian and pandemic coordination services through the country’s National Coordination Centre, the procurement of 30 ventilators, and in delivering Papua New Guinea’s first national socio-economic impact assessment on the impacts of the COVID pandemic in addition to the procurement of ambulances and other response services.