Another gesture of solidarity by Team Europe to the people of Sierra Leone has been realized with the arrival of the long-awaited flight from Nigeria, carrying critical supplies for the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The flight, which arrived on Tuesday, had onboard a large batch of healthcare supplies donated by Germany, the European Union and UNDP, under the framework of the RPPP programme (Regional Programme Support to Pandemic Prevention in the ECOWAS Region).
Since its launch in 2016, the RPPP programme, which is implemented by the German International development agency, GIZ, has contributed to the fight against COVID-19 and national preparedness against Ebola in West Africa.
This latest consignment, which consists of aprons, gloves, boots, masks, test kits, consumables and other medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators, is the second one flown in by Team Europe through the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) as part of its mandate to support the ECOWAS States in their national health response. In total, medical supplies worth over $18 million are being distributed to 15 West African countries.
The EU joined deputy Minister of Health, Dr Anthony Sandy, at the airport for the handover ceremony, together with German Ambassador Horst Gruner, WAHO focal point Mohamed Kutubu and WHO representative Mr Charles Terry.
Deputy Minister Sandy stated that the equipment was highly needed and underlined the importance of teamwork and unity to overcome the pandemic.
Ambassador Gruner said that the recent ebola outbreak in Guinea once more had shown that infectious diseases are one of the greatest challenges of our time and that it was important to further strengthen prevention and control systems in the region.
EU Deputy Head of Delegation, Jamila El Assaidi, reminded that since the onset of the pandemic, Team Europe has mobilised over €38.5 billion towards a global COVID-19 response, stressing that cooperating across borders was essential to beat the virus and contain its consequences.