Southern Africa: SADC and Russia Meet to Discuss Support On COVID-19 Response

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Russia met this week to discuss the COVID-19 situation in their respective jurisdictions where the Russian government presented a proposal regarding the availability of personal protective equipment and other medical equipment from Russian manufacturers to help the region in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

For this meeting, SADC was represented by its Executive Secretary, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax while Russia was represented by Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Botswana and SADC, Dr. Victor Ivanovich Sibilev at the SADC Secretariat Head Office in Gaborone, Botswana on 06 July.

The SADC Executive Secretary embraced the offer from the Russian Federation on the availability of personal protective equipment, and underscored that the offer was consistent with the recent SADC Council of Ministers decision mandating the SADC Secretariat to negotiate with governments hosting manufacturing companies, for preferential dispensation to SADC Region for the supply of essential medicine and equipment required for Covid-19.

Tax indicated that in collaboration with member states and other partners, the SADC Secretariat has taken a coordinated regional approach to contain the spread of Covid-19 across the region, and to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the pandemic on SADC.

The two parties committed to implement agreed actions in the two Memoranda of Understanding and pledged to remain seized with the fight against Covid-19 pandemic. The Executive Secretary was accompanied by Ms. Duduzile Simelane, Director for Social and Human Development, while Ambassador Sibilev was accompanied by the First Secretary Mr. Michael Sigmikog.

Caption: SADC Executive Secretary, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax and Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Botswana and SADC, Dr. Victor Ivanovich Sibilev.

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