The Ambassador of France to Uganda, H.E Jules-Armand Aniambossou, on Tuesday handed over a consignment of 2,510 twenty-liter jerrycans of alcohol-based hand sanitizers to the Hon. Mary Karooro Okurut, Minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister.
The donation from the Department of Security and Defence Cooperation of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs is intended to support Uganda’s army, the UPDF, in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.
The handover ceremony took place at the Office of the Prime Minister in the presence of the Chairperson of the Covid19 National Taskforce, Mr. Emmanuel Katongole, the deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Lt. Gen. Wilson Mbadi, and the UPDF Chief of Medical Services, Maj. Gen. Dr. Ambrose Musinguzi.
In his remarks, the French Ambassador underscored France’s commitment to help bolster Africa’s response to the pandemic, citing President Emmanuel Macron’s April proposal to the G20 leaders for a comprehensive aid package for Africa that included, among others, building the African capacity to respond to health emergencies and a moratorium on servicing external debts.
Ambassador Jules-Armand Aniambossou applauded Uganda’s response to the pandemic, saluting the excellent conduct of the Ugandan people who, he said, have demonstrated maturity, resilience and discipline in the face of this crisis.
“In Uganda, President Museveni and your government reacted immediately to this threat. The response was quick, targeted and efficient,” he observed.
The Ambassador also announced that France, through the French Development Agency (AFD), intends to release a 60 million USD budget support for Uganda, adding that French scientists are currently working with their Ugandan counterparts at Makerere University on finding a rapid Covid19 test.
On his part, General Wilson Mbadi thanked France for the timely support to the UPDF who by the nature of their work find themselves vulnerable to the virus. He also paid tribute to France for its support in building the capacity of the UPDF.
Mr. Emmanuel Katongole expressed appreciation to France for lending a hand to the Ugandan army which has been instrumental in preserving the peace enjoyed in the country today.
On behalf of the Prime Minister, Hon. Okurut conveyed the appreciation of the government and the people of Uganda to France for its continued immense support and solidarity.
The Minister said that by helping the UPDF, France is sending a good signal to Ugandans because the army is on the frontline in the fight against Covid19.