The Government is putting $17 million towards helping Pacific communities during the Covid-19 crisis.

The money will support Pacific health and disability services, public health messaging in Pacific languages, and a new programme linking high-risk Pacific people with important services.

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"Our Pacific communities face unique challenges that require a targeted response to keep our communities well and out of hospital emergency rooms," Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa said in a statement.


The package would help Pacific people understand what they need to do to combat the virus and how they can obtain help when they need it, she said.

"It's also about ensuring the continued availability of By-Pacific, For-Pacific health and disability services for Pacific people throughout this pandemic.

"Our Pacific communities are highly urbanised, with larger family sizes than the average population, and many are living in overcrowded housing. As a result, Pacific families face a higher risk of rapid Covid-19 spread if actions like those announced to stop the spread of the virus are not adhered to.

"Pacific communities also face greater challenges in accessing health and disability support services, which means they are at greater risk as services shift from traditional face-to-face practices to online in light of the virus."

The Government has already announced a package to help Māori, including $10 million of reprioritised funding to support community outreach and $30 million for Māori Health services.