CARACAS, 8 April 2020 – A shipment managed by UNICEF of approximately 90 tons of vital supplies arrived in Caracas today. The shipment includes Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits for health workers on the frontline in the battle against COVID-19.
The shipment also includes hospital kits with essential medicines, hygiene and sanitation equipment, as well as education and recreation kits to support the most vulnerable children and the wider at-risk population.
“This is the first air shipment cargo that UNICEF has brought to Venezuela since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Herve Ludovic de Lys, UNICEF Venezuela Representative. “We are grateful for the generous support of the international humanitarian donors in helping us reach Venezuelan children and their families with essential supplies.”
The shipment includes 110 basic emergency kits to reach 110,000 people; oxygen concentrators, paediatric beds, and almost 1,000 PPE kits that enable the identification of 28,000 suspected COVID-19 patients.
The COVID-19 pandemic compounds an already precarious humanitarian situation in Venezuela, which has also recently seen the return of Venezuelans who migrated to other countries.
UNICEF’s support in health, water, sanitation, and hygiene in 14 out of 46 prioritized sentinel hospitals is taking place within the framework of the United Nations response plan in Venezuela for the COVID-19 pandemic. UNICEF supports other facilities, such as other outpatient centers and selected schools, through school feeding activities for 27,000 children daily
Since the start of the outbreak, UNICEF has delivered almost 700kg of essential medical supplies as well as cleaning supplies and clean water to thousands of people. Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) materials to support COVID-19 prevention in public places, including hospitals and primary health facilities, are being distributed, and support is being provided to national partners involved in the distant learning national education program.
As part of a mass communication campaign aimed at reinforcing key safety messages such as ‘Stay at Home,’ ‘Wash your Hands,’ and social distancing communication, UNICEF is sending daily messages to 9 million people through mobile services across the country.
UNICEF continues to use its integrated approach to save lives.
UNICEF is calling for the support of the international community to fund its US$161.9 million appeal – including US$ 8.9 million for COVID-19 response – to help reach and protect the most vulnerable children and women in Venezuela.