New Delhi/Port Moresby: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced a 12-point action plan, including setting up a 100-bed regional super specialty hospital in Fiji, holding of Jaipur Foot camps in PIC countries, desalination units for drinking water and sea ambulances in all the 14 island nations, during the Third FIPIC Summit at Port Moresby.
PM Modi and Papua New Guinea PM James Marape successfully co-hosted the 3rd Summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) in Port Moresby.
PM Modi said that the PIC nations “are not Small Island States, but Large Ocean Countries” and added that “It is this vast ocean that connects India with all of you. The Indian philosophy has always viewed the world as one family.”
He outlined a 12-point action plan that includes:
-A 100-bed regional super specialty cardiology hospital in Fiji
-Set up Regional IT and Cyber Security training hub in Papua New Guinea
-Sagar Amrut Scholarships – 1000 scholarships in the next 5 years
-Jaipur Foot Camp in PNG in 2023. Thereafter, two camps annually in other PICs.
-FIPIC SME Development Project
-Solar Project for Government Buildings
-Provide desalination units for drinking water
-Supply sea ambulances
-Set up dialysis units
-Set up of 24×7 emergency helpline
-Set up of Jan Aushadi Kendras
-Set up Yoga centres
In his address, PM Modi said that the super-specialty cardiology hospital in Fiji will be equipped with trained staff, modern facilities, and infrastructure, and it will serve as a lifeline for the entire PIC region. The Indian government will bear the full cost of this mega greenfield project.
He announced that India will assist in setting up dialysis units in all the 14 Pacific island countries.
PM Modi also announced that Sea ambulances will be provided to all the 14 Pacific island countries.
On the Jaipur Foot Camp, he said: “In the year 2022, we conducted a Jaipur Foot Camp in Fiji.
In this camp, prosthetic limbs were provided free of cost to more than 600 people. Friends, the recipients of this gift feel as if they have received the gift of life.
“For the PIC region, we have decided to organize a Jaipur Foot camp in Papua New Guinea (PNG) this year. Starting from 2024, two such camps will be organized every year in the Pacific Island countries.”
On the opening of Jan Aushadi Kendras, he said that through the Jan Aushadhi Scheme in India, “more than 1800 high-quality generic medicines are being provided to people at affordable prices. For example, the anti-diabetes medication is available at up to 90% lower cost at Jan Aushadhi Centers as compared to the market prices. Other medicines are also available at a discounted price, ranging from 60% to 90% of the market cost. I propose bringing similar Jan Aushadhi Centers to your countries.”
On opening yoga centres, PM Modi said: “Scientific studies have shown that yoga can be highly effective in preventing lifestyle diseases like diabetes. We propose establishing yoga centers in your countries to promote its benefits.”
The Centre of Excellence for IT in PNG will be upgraded and transformed into a “Regional Information Technology and Cybersecurity Hub.”
A 24×7 emergency helpline will be established for the citizens of Fiji, and similar facilities will be opened in all the PIC countries.
He also announced a project for the development of the SME sector in every Pacific Island country. “Under this scheme, machinery and technology supplies will be provided, and capacity-building programs will be conducted to enhance capabilities.”
On solar projects for government buildings, he said: “The project to convert the Pacific Island Heads of State Residences to solar powered ones, was well-received by you all. We will now be converting at least one government building into solar powered building, in all the FIPIC countries”.
“To address the water scarcity issue, I pledge to provide desalination units for the people of every Pacific Island country”.
“Continuing our long-term commitment to capacity building, I announce the “Sagar Amrut Scholarship” scheme for the Pacific Island countries today. Under this program, 1000 ITEC training opportunities will be provided in the next five years,” the PM announced.
The PM later also interacted with the alumni of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) courses from across the Pacific Island Countries.
The alumni included senior government officials, leading professionals and community leaders who have received training in India under ITEC. They are contributing to their societies using the skills gained in India.
Prime Minister Modi complimented the alumni for their personal success and achievements. He highlighted the important role played by India’s capacity building initiative in helping the countries meet their developmental goals, especially in the areas like good governance, climate change, digital public goods and sustainable development. He reiterated India’s support for such capacity building efforts.
Following the last FIPIC Summit in 2015, India has trained close to 1,000 officials from all countries in this region. India has also sent experts on long term deputations to agencies in these countries to assist them in agriculture and related areas.
FIPIC involves India and 14 Pacific Island Countries (PICs), namely, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, Niue, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands, Cook Islands, Palau, Nauru and Solomon Islands.