Caracas, June 19, 2020 - A plane carrying 94 tons of medical and water, sanitation and hygiene supplies arrived in country today to continue supporting the response against COVID-19. The supplies will help strengthen the health system, improve access to safe water for thousands of families and ensure continued assistance in other critical areas, including sexual and reproductive health.
This third humanitarian aid shipment is part of a joint effort by the United Nations and Switzerland, and includes supplies from PAHO/WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, IOM and other humanitarian organizations. Two planes carrying 100 tons of health, water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition and education materials arrived in the country on April 8 and May 29. With this shipment, humanitarian organizations have brought over 200 tons of assistance to Venezuela since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been possible due to generous funding from the international community. The supplies will be distributed to priority hospitals and health centres and to the most vulnerable communities.
"These vital supplies will ensure we can continue supporting a timely response to COVID-19 in the country and focus assistance on the most urgent needs in the prioritized states, guided by the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence”, said Peter Grohmann, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Venezuela. “We will continue to work together to ensure that assistance reaches the people who need it most in a transparent manner and focused on their most pressing needs. I would like to thank the Government of Venezuela for facilitating the arrival of this important shipment, and the Swiss Government for providing the transportation of these life-saving supplies”.
The shipment includes medicines, medical supplies, personal protective equipment for frontline health workers, water purification tablets, water tanks, hygiene kits and nutrition support packages, among others.
To date, humanitarian actors have reached over one million people as part of the COVID-19 response and ongoing assistance in other critical areas such as shelter and non-food items, food, protection, education and nutrition, including for returnees and local communities.
The United Nations and partners have launched an appeal for USD72 million to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the continuation of other critical services as part of the COVID-19 Prevention and Response Plan in Venezuela. "I would like to thank all those who have contributed financial resources for humanitarian activities in Venezuela. I reiterate the UN’s call for solidarity, collaboration, humanitarian access and increased financial contributions to help fight the pandemic and continue saving lives under the framework of the existing Humanitarian Response Plan," added Peter Grohmann.
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