Việt Nam remains an important part of the Pacific Partnership 2022 (PP22), said US Consul General in HCM City Marie C. Damour at the PP22 launching ceremony in Tuy Hoà City, the south-central coast province of Phú Yên on Monday night.
The event was also attended by British Ambassador to Việt Nam Gareth Ward and Australian Consul General in HCM City Sarah Hooper.
Việt Nam was the first destination of the US Military Sealift Command’s hospital ship USNS Mercy in its PP22 mission to many countries, she said, adding that the two countries had spent a lot of time to prepare for it.
She highlighted the Việt Nam-US partnership in health care, saying Việt Nam provided the US with millions of personal protective equipment (PPE) back in 2020 when the US was struggling to control the COVID-19 spread.
The US later also donated US$27 million worth of medical supplies, including ventilators and test kits, as well as technical support to help Việt Nam contain the virus. It was also the largest donator of COVID-19 vaccines to Việt Nam with nearly 40 million doses, she noted.
Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Đào Mỹ said located in the south-central coast of Việt Nam, Phú Yên is vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. He expected the PP22 would enable the province to reinforce its infrastructure, improve public health and enhance local disaster relief preparedness.
The presence of the hospital ship USNS Mercy in Phú Yên shows the humanitarian significance of PP22.
PP22 is taking place in Phú Yên from June 20 – July 3.
The PP is an annual multinational mission for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness led by the US Government.
As the largest humanitarian and disaster relief preparedness mission in Indo-Pacific, it was launched to deal with the devastating aftermaths of natural disasters following the Indian Ocean tsunami in April 2004, one of the deadliest disasters in modern history.
This year’s event will focus on health care and diplomacy. It features a series of activities, including constructing new buildings for schools, providing medical care for locals and exchanging expertise in disaster response, with the participation of personnel not only from the US but also other countries.
It is the second time the PP has been held in Phú Yên. The first time was three years ago.