CARACAS, April 8, 2020. - A plane carrying 90 tons of health, water, hygiene and sanitation, and education supplies arrives in Venezuela today as part of the United Nations’ response against COVID-19.
“This is the first United Nations humanitarian shipment in support of the Venezuela COVID-19 outbreak. In a joint effort, UNICEF, PAHO/WHO and UNFPA are bringing vital supplies to be distributed to health centers and in the most vulnerable communities", said Peter Grohmann, United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Venezuela. “I would like to thank UNICEF for coordinating this lifesaving cargo flight.”
The shipment includes 28,000 Personal Protective Equipment kits for health workers on the frontline, oxygen concentrators, pediatric beds, water quality control products and hygiene kits, among others. The supplies are financed by the international donor community, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and the UN Agencies’ own funds.
"These supplies for children, women and vulnerable families will support 14 designated hospitals, 50 outpatient clinics and child development centers as part of the first phase of the COVID-19 response”, said Herve Ludovic de Lys, UNICEF Representative in Venezuela.
In support of national efforts to respond to the global pandemic, the UN system and partners are appealing for US$61 million to scale up its humanitarian response under the COVID-19 Prevention and Response Plan in Venezuela. The Plan focuses on strengthening the capacity of the health system to quickly identify and treat COVID-19 patients; supplying water, hygiene and sanitation in prioritized hospitals and communities and providing timely and trustworthy information to the public to prevent the spread of the virus. The Plan also seeks to ensure other critical humanitarian programmes can continue, including for food security, nutrition, protection, and education among others.
The UN is calling for solidarity, access and increased funding to help combat the pandemic and save lives, while urging donors to sustain funding to the existing Humanitarian Response Plan.
The Secretary-General has called for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world and all sectors to put conflicts aside and to join forces to focus together on the true fight against the global pandemic. The United Nations works based on the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence and calls on all actors not to politicize humanitarian action.
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