The N26 billion worth of supplies were received by the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, and other stakeholders at the Cargo Section of Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.
In a tweet on its official handle, the Federal Ministry of Health revealed that the supplies were received from the Charge d’Affaires a.i. of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria, Mr. Alexander Borges–Gomes, who coordinated the handing over of the medical supplies.
The medical supplies handed over include 500,000 face shields; 200,000 goggles; 100 oro-pharyngeal airways; 10,000 bio-hazard bags; and 14,000 safety boxes.
Borges–Gomes disclosed during the handover, that the items were procured through the One United Nations COVID-19 Basket Fund from a significant contribution from the European Union of €50 million (N26 billion).
Borges-Gomes noted that the first batch had arrived mid-June and it is part of the efforts of Team Europe – the EU and its MSs to counter the worldwide ravages of COVID-19; and expressed hope that the equipment would boost the Nigerian Government’s response efforts and in particular, protect the heroic frontline health workers.
Why this matters
Speaking at the handover, Ehanire said this 2nd Batch of medical supplies would allay the fears of Nigerian health workers, especially the frontline health workers, who were worried that Nigeria might be running short of essential medical supplies. They even threatened to embark on a strike.
The Minister added that there are arrangements in place through institutions and international friends like the EU and the UN to continue replenishing the medical supplies. He also assured the UN envoy that the medical supplies will be judiciously distributed.
The UN COVID-19 Basket fund was launched in April 2020, by the UN system in Nigeria, in collaboration with the Government.
The aim of the basket fund was to complement ongoing efforts to mobilise resources in support of the National COVID-19 Multi-Sectoral Pandemic Response Plan, developed by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
The Basket Fund serves as the One COVID-19 Financing and Investment Platform for diverse stakeholders (UN and other multilaterals, bilaterals, private sector, foundations, philanthropists, among others) to channel their financial support to ensure an efficient, effective and impactful response to the coronavirus pandemic.