(Picture caption: Digital media solutions business Galumoana Bluwave Ltd is a recipient of round one Pacific Aotearoa Community Outreach funding to help create awareness about COVID-19 among Pacific peoples in New Zealand.)
The Pacific Aotearoa Community Outreach Fund has helped Pacific peoples in Aotearoa respond proactively to the rapidly changing crisis Omicron has brought.
Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Aupito William Sio says the fund was introduced in November last year to support the work of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP), to assist with the safe transition of Pacific communities to the COVID-19 Protection Framework.
“We closed the fund in late January, and 62 Pacific groups were selected to be fully or partially funded, to a total of approximately $1.2m.
“This is an exceptional group of organisations, who care deeply for their community, and use targeted, and tailored approaches and initiatives, along with wellbeing support services.”
These groups are also using social connectedness to ensure the shift to the fund is understood by our people, the Minister adds.
When the fund was first released, Omicron had yet to hit New Zealand’s shores, and Delta was the main variant causing concerns in Aotearoa.
“These funded groups have had to prove their approach can also navigate the way Omicron works, for example and move online if there is a sudden outbreak,” Minister Sio says.
“This is not an easy task to organise at times, yet these groups are truly adaptable.”
Recently, the Ministry of Health released data showing that despite Pacific people making up just eight per cent of the population, 42 per cent of Omicron COVID-19 hospitalisations are Pacific.
Due to the impact Omicron is having on Pacific peoples, a further $18m package has been made available via MPP to support vulnerable Pacific communities to respond to these challenges.
“To all our fund recipients across New Zealand who are listed HERE, fa’afetai lava for all the work you do and the care you have for your community,” Minister Sio says.
Visit the MPP website for upcoming funding opportunities.