THE delivery of 65 tons of emergency aid that will assist Namibia in the fight against COVID-19 came with a solemn promise that consignments of vaccines will form part of further aid from Germany.
On Thursday, the world’s largest aircraft, the Antanov AN225, landed at the Hosea Kutako International Airport with the first of three loads of emergency aid that were donated by Germany and other member countries of the European Union.
Onboard the giant aircraft was 65 tons of medical supplies donated by Germany, through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, to support the Government of Namibia’s efforts to respond to the worsening of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The donation was officially received on behalf of the Namibian Government by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, and the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula.
Herbert Beck, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Sinikka Antila, the Ambassador of the European Union, administered the official handover during a short ceremony held on the apron of Namibia’s main international airport.
Minister Nandi-Ndaitwah expressed the Government of Namibia’s gratitude for the consistent support Germany has rendered since the pandemic reared its ugly head in Namibia.
According to Nandi-Ndaitwah, the support will be distributed to various sectors of the government that were impacted severely by the pandemic.
The first phase of the donation is based on the emergency assistance requested by the Namibian Government and consists of 300 000 surgical gowns, 60 care beds and 500 000 FFP2/N95 face masks.
Ambassador Beck announced that 40 000 antigen rapid tests and 20 000 safety goggles will form part of the second phase of the donation process expected to arrive in Namibia next week.
Further assistance from Germany will also include ventilators, pulse oximeters, PCR tests, and additional face masks.
According to Ambassador Beck, the entire donation that will be delivered in three phases, has an overall value of N$190 million and will be handed over to the Ministry of Health and Social Services for further distribution.
“I am glad that the Government of Namibia quickly drew up a list of the goods and services needed to fight COVID-19. The prompt action enabled Germany to provide the appropriate support within its means. Now that the much more infectious Delta variant has also been detected in Namibia, the pressure on the health system will continue to increase. It is good that we are able to support our Namibian partners and friends in this difficult time and for all of us living here so stressful situation by providing practical assistance,” Ambassador Beck said.
At the same time, Ambassador Antila welcomed the offers made by member states of the European Union, as another tangible example of solidarity in the face of the pandemic.
Ambassador Antila indicated that the donation from Germany was preceded by a donation from the Finnish Government that arrived in Namibia last week.
The ambassador said Belgium and Norway have also offered medical supplies that are expected to arrive in Namibia soon.
Nandi Ndaitwah extended the appreciation of the Namibian Government to the EU that was responsible for funding 75% of the transport costs involved with the giant Antonov AN225.
The minister also expressed appreciation toward the European Commission that provided the logistical support.