UNHCR and WFP team up to deliver 20,000 COVID-19 test kits to Myanmar
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the World Food Programme (WFP) have teamed up to deliver 20,000 COVID-19 test kits to the Government of Myanmar. The test kits, which were procured and delivered by UNICEF, arrived at the Yangon International Airport today as part of a broader United Nations provision of over 95,000 test kits to the Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports.
The United Nations family stands in full solidarity with the Government of Myanmar in its response to COVID-19 and is actively supporting its efforts to save lives, and strengthen the national response capacity to help contain the spread of the virus, including with COVID test kits, as well as leveraging WFP’s humanitarian logistics system to facilitate the arrival of much needed relief, hygiene and medical supplies to Myanmar.
“The global pandemic has impacted everyone and placed vulnerable communities at heightened risks. Continued vigilance is still required, including wearing masks, physical distancing and maintaining hygiene practices,” said Ms. Cecile Fradot, Representative ad interim for UNHCR in Myanmar. “The delivery of the test kits today is critical to support the Government of Myanmar to cut the chains of transmission of the virus and protect all communities, including those displaced by conflict.”
According to WFP Myanmar’s Country Director Mr. Stephen Anderson, “These kits are intended to further boost and sustain the Government of Myanmar’s efforts to avert a second wave of COVID transmissions which is fundamental to keeping poverty and hunger in check”.
This latest contribution to the Government of Myanmar builds on collective UN efforts to support the national testing strategy, with 75,000 test kits handed over by the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, and UNOPS through its Access to Health Fund, to the Ministry of Health and Sports and its relevant laboratory facilities to date.
This year, UNHCR rolled out a US $9.4m programme aimed at ensuring the inclusion of persons of concern, including stateless and displaced people, in the national COVID-19 response. At the same time, WFP has so far provided daily meals for over 50,000 returning migrants at Myanmar border gates and government-managed quarantine centers, while WFP weekly aid flights continue to bring into the country essential supplies and passengers urgently needed in the fight against COVID-19.
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