International Cooperation and Development

Team Europe supports UNICEF in shipping lifesaving supplies across Africa in the fight against COVID-19

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Team Europe is committed to providing support to UNICEF’s humanitarian work for children and families and to the preventive efforts against the coronavirus pandemic in coordination with the wider UN response.

The repatriation flights to Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), activated by the Belgian and Danish governments were co-financed under the European Civil Protection Mechanism at 75%. The airplanes carried not only oxygen concentrators, basic surgical equipment, stethoscopes and antibiotics, but also equipment for the fight against malnutrition, kits for midwives and items for maternal and neonatal health, supplements for pregnant and lactating women and essential medicines for children.

As cases of COVID-19 infections in the DRC rise and the situation is becoming more critical every day, medical supplies are urgently needed to support the country’s already overburdened health system to fight against COVID-19 and other health epidemics which are killing thousands of thousands of children every year
- Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in the DRC

In the words of Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in the DRC. “As cases of COVID-19 infections in the DRC rise and the situation is becoming more critical every day, medical supplies are urgently needed to support the country’s already overburdened health system to fight against COVID-19 and other health epidemics which are killing thousands of thousands of children every year,”

In the DRC particular focus lies on health centres and maternity wards, therapeutic nutrition centres, coronavirus treatment centres, entry points as well as gathering points such as transit and referral centres, temporary hosting structures or therapeutic feeding centres.

The DRC and Mali, have seen UNICEF and partners demonstrating the importance of working together for the health and well-being of every child. Director of UNICEF Supply Division, Etleva Kadilli is grateful for Team Europe’s support and explained that “since the outbreak of COVID-19, it has remained our priority to ensure that life-saving supplies continue to reach the most vulnerable children, particularly those affected by emergencies.”

Despite an unprecedented disruption in the supply chain across the world, Mali has received 7.5 tons of vital health care equipment to boost their health care system.

EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič said that “in such challenging times, the EU is glad to be making the best use of resources available and helping UNICEF, one of our implementing partners in many EU-supported actions across Africa, in its work to transport life-saving supplies to Mali.”

Stronger together against the Corona Virus!