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Singapore provides S$750,000 special healthcare assistance package to Palestinian Territories

Singapore provides S$750,000 special healthcare assistance package to Palestinian Territories

Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan calls on Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Dr Mohammad Shtayyeh on Mar 20, 2022. (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore)

SINGAPORE: Singapore has given a special healthcare assistance package worth about S$750,000 to the Palestinian Authority, including COVID-19 test kits and masks, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Sunday (Mar 20).

The assistance package includes 10,000 COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction test kits developed by Singapore-based Alliance BioMed and 30,000 Air+ reusable masks donated by Temasek Foundation.

The package also has customised healthcare courses and postgraduate scholarships aimed at training Palestinian healthcare policymakers and professionals, said a statement issued by MFA.

Singapore's Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan is in Ramallah and called on Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Malki. He will meet Minister of Health Mai Al-Kaila later on Sunday.

The minister reaffirmed the warm and friendly relations between Singapore and the Palestinian Authority, said MFA.

"On behalf of President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Minister Balakrishnan conveyed letters of invitation to President Abbas and Prime Minister Shtayyeh respectively to visit Singapore, which the Palestinian leaders welcomed," MFA added.

Mr Lee visited the Palestinian Territories in 2016, the first by a Singapore prime minister.

During his visit, Dr Balakrishnan also reaffirmed Singapore's commitment to supporting the Palestinian Authority through capacity building and encouraging more Palestinian officials to participate in training courses, under the S$10 million Enhanced Technical Assistance Package (ETAP).

The package provides sponsorship for customised training courses, study visits and postgraduate scholarships in areas of need for Palestinian officials. More than 600 Palestinians have benefited so far, with 13 customised study visits for the Palestinian Authority and eight postgraduate scholarships.

"To facilitate closer coordination with the Palestinian Authority to implement the ETAP, Minister Balakrishnan conveyed Singapore’s intention to establish a representative office in Ramallah to coordinate our technical assistance to the Palestinian Authority and support the work of Singapore’s non-resident representative to the Palestinian Authority," said MFA. 

Mr Al-Malki welcomed the opening of the representative office, the statement added.

In 2016, Singapore appointed Hawazi Daipi to be the first non-resident representative to the Palestinian Authority.

"Minister Balakrishnan reiterated Singapore’s longstanding and principled support for a negotiated two-state solution consistent with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, with Israel and Palestine living side-by-side in peace and security, in order to achieve a durable, just and comprehensive solution," said MFA.

"Minister Balakrishnan expressed the hope that both the Israeli and Palestinian sides will find ways to engage in direct negotiations on the basis of a two-state solution. He also urged all parties to refrain from any unilateral actions that could increase tensions and undermine the prospects for peace."

Dr Balakrishnan is making an official visit to the Middle East. Besides the Palestinian Territories, he was in Bahrain on Saturday and will also visit Israel.

Source: CNA/mi(aw)


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