Fiji has secured a $3m (FJD6.3m) grant from the Government of Japan to enable improvements at Nadi International Airport, which resumed international operations late last year.

The grant is aimed at enhancing the airport’s Covid-19 readiness such as improving its capacity to contain the transmission of the virus.

It will also provide a Covid-19 testing facility for tourists, with plans for the acquisition of automated reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test machines.

The grant will also support the construction of a new lounge, isolation room and boarding gate.

Furthermore, it will fund equipment that will facilitate infection prevention and disease control.

Nearly 90,000 people directly and indirectly employed in the tourism sector are expected to benefit from the project.

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The grant has been provided under the Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific, which was launched to drive Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) projects to help lower poverty and support associated social development activities in the region.

Fiji’s Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said: “This partnership supports a major upgrade for the award-winning Nadi International Airport that sets our tourism industry on a sustainable path towards recovery.

“By constantly seeking ways to make travel to Fiji easier, simpler and safer, we will ensure that we remain open for happiness throughout our recovery and beyond.”

ADB director general for the Pacific Leah Gutierrez. “Tourism is critical to Fiji’s economy and this grant from the Government of Japan will help promote a safe tourism recovery.”

Last year, Fiji Airports obtained $49.91m from the Australian Government for Covid-19 crisis recovery.

The money was intended to finance essential maintenance and capital works at Nadi Airport, as well as other outer island airports.