MONROVIA, Liberia, June 3, 2020/ — UNICEF’s first airlift of vital health supplies arrived at Roberts International Airport loaded with 14 metric tonnes of supplies funded by the Word Bank to support the response of the Government of Liberia to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 Emergency Response in Liberia aims to mitigate and contain the transmission of COVID-19, ensure adequate management of confirmed COVID-19 cases, and to strengthen the laboratory network systems for COVID-19 detection and other infectious diseases. The response will also support healthcare workers and families affected by COVID-19 and strengthen coordination among partners for the COVID-19 response.
The shipment is part of the trilateral agreement through which UNICEF will support the delivery of essential emergency supplies to the Ministry of Health within the framework of the World Bank financed COVID-19 Emergency Response Project.
“We are grateful to our partnership with the World Bank and UNICEF in Liberia, for the possibility of organizing a much vital delivery of emergency supplies in a short period. This shipment will enable us to address some of the gaps and needs within the health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the supplies will also help protect our health workers who are risking themselves trying to protect us all,” said Dr. Wilhelmina S. Jallah, Minister of Health
The first shipment of supplies included oxygen concentrators, assorted pharmaceuticals, protective equipment for health care givers and other health equipment to be available to health facilities and communities where there is a need.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Liberia, the World Bank and UNICEF are working closely with the government and partners on community sensitization, provision of WASH equipment and strengthening of Public Health capacities.
“This is the first air shipment to Liberia since the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Laila O. Gad, UNICEF Representative in Liberia. “We are grateful for the support from our partners to ensure that even amidst crisis, essential supplies are available to respond to the affected population in Liberia, including children and their families.”
Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic builds on the lessons learnt from the Ebola response which demonstrated the effectiveness of investing in community structures in order to strengthen programmatic interventions by leveraging existing community structures across programmatic areas. Also, it takes into consideration the importance of continuing the provision of basic health services.
In many countries including Liberia, the COVID-19 outbreak is creating significant additional pressure on the already overburdened social service delivery systems, exacerbating the vulnerabilities of affected populations.