Brussels/Copenhagen/Bamako/Dakar — A UNICEF shipment of 7.5 tons of vital health supplies is arriving in Bamako, Mali today on a Danish flight, co-financed between the European Union (EU) and the Government of Denmark.
The supplies will support UNICEF's humanitarian work for children and families in Mali, as well as providing support to the Government of Mali in preventing and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the wider UN system. It is the first offshore flight to land in Mali in support of UNICEF and broader coordinated efforts to respond to the pandemic. Additional supplies are expected to be delivered to Mali in the coming days.
"In such challenging times, the EU is glad to be making the best use of resources available and helping UNICEF, one of our implementing partners in many EU-supported actions across Africa, in its work to transport life-saving supplies to Mali," said EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič.
"We are grateful for the generous support of the European Union and the Government of Denmark, which is helping us to reach children in Mali with essential supplies despite unprecedented supply chain disruptions across the world," said UNICEF's Director of Supply Division, Etleva Kadilli. "In these uncertain times, UNICEF and partners are demonstrating the importance of working together for the health and well-being of every child."
The flight is carrying vital supplies, , equipment for the fight against malnutrition, supplements for pregnant and lactating women, and essential medicines for children. The supplies were supported by the Swedish and German governments. With the wider UN system, UNICEF is supporting the Government of Mali to respond to the pandemic through work including:
- The promotion of safe and effective handwashing and social distancing;
- Training healthcare workers on detection of cases and contact tracing;
- Strengthening hygiene at borders, health centers and other areas where mass gatherings may take place;
- The provision of tents and other essential materials to support COVID-19 care centres
The flight to Bamako is co-financed at 75% by the European Civil Protection Mechanism that has been activated by the Government of Denmark for consular assistance to repatriate Danish and other EU citizens from Mali.