New Zealand extends P64.2-M assistance to PH COVID response

Published August 21, 2020, 2:24 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

New Zealand has extended more than P64.2 million in COVID-19 assistance to vulnerable communities in the country, especially in Mindanao, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Friday.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. and New Zealand Ambassador Peter Francis Tavita Kell (DFA / MANILA BULLETIN)

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. relayed the Philippines’ “appreciation” to Wellington’s support to the country’s COVID-19 response during his meeting with New Zealand Ambassador Peter Francis Tavita Kell.

“The Secretary conveyed his appreciation for New Zealand’s COVID-19 assistance of NZD 2 million (P64,259,000) prioritizing vulnerable communities in Mindanao, channeled through the International Organization for Migration (IOM),” the DFA said.

It said Kell expressed New Zealand’s support to the Philippine government’s efforts to contain the pandemic crisis.

Kell also thanked the DFA and other government agencies for facilitating the repatriation of over 500 New Zealand nationals since the imposition of the Metro Manila-wide community quarantine in March.

During the meeting, Locsin and Kell took the opportunity to tackle “cooperation priorities” and other issues of mutual importance between Manila and Wellington.

Apart from comparing notes on areas of successes and the remaining challenges in the two countries’ fight against COVID-19, both officials also “touched on key issues including cooperation in defense, trade, development, and people-to-people relations, as well as regional and multilateral developments involving peace and stability.”

“Both sides reaffirmed their governments’ commitment to further elevating overall ties and cooperation,” the DFA said.