Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will commit NZ$30 million over five years for a second phase of the Polynesian Health Corridors (PHC) programme.
Mr Peters and Dr. Shane Reti reaffirmed New Zealand’s commitment to working with Polynesian partners to address health priorities and strengthen health systems during a visit to the National University of Samoa (NUS) this afternoon.
Mr Peters says, “Health services and programmes in the Pacific were severely impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and New Zealand is continuing to find ways to collaborate in the region to address the most pressing health challenges.”
Funded through New Zealand’s International Development Cooperation Programme, PHC is delivered by the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s Public Health Agency and supports Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu.
Dr Reti says, “In Tonga and in the Cook Islands, and now here in Samoa, I have had the opportunity to discuss the impacts of the PHC programme on countries’ health systems and communities, and see first-hand the strong relationships and collaboration the programme facilitates.”
“We look forward to the next phase of the programme, which will include a focus on health security, non-communicable diseases especially mental health and cancer control and access to essential medicines.”
The Ministers also discussed educational and development opportunities for Samoa’s health workforce with Samoa’s Health and Education Ministers.
Mr Peters also announced that New Zealand will provide early NZ$3.5 million to Samoa to offer the Bachelor of Health Science qualification, and to give scholarships and other support to students enrolled in the programme.