JUBA, June 30 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government through the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund (SSCAF) on Thursday donated more than 1.3 million personal protective equipment (PPE) items to refugees in South Sudan, in partnership with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to support the COVID-19 response.
Juliette Murekeyisoni, the deputy representative of UNHCR in South Sudan, said the donation of personal protective equipment will help curb the spread of coronavirus among refugees living inside and outside camps, together with their hosts.
"This donation will help us to keep the people we serve safe," Murekeyisoni told journalists during the handover ceremony in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
She stressed the need for strategic collaboration to boost COVID-19 response among vulnerable groups like refugees and internally displaced persons.
The donated items included 1.1 million pairs of gloves, 70,000 disposable fluid-resistant gowns, 70,000 protective eye goggles, 70,000 N95 respiratory masks and 1,000 pairs of rubber boots.
The UNHCR said the anti-COVID-19 supplies donation from China will help protect more than 900 frontline medical and support staff from secondary infections as they respond to and serve patients affected by the disease in 17 primary healthcare centers and units, two hospitals in South Sudan's Unity, Upper Nile, Western and Central Equatoria States, said the UNHCR.
According to the UNHCR, the facilities which will benefit from anti-COVID-19 supplies provide medical services to 343,000 refugees, 80 percent of whom are women and children besides more than 60,000 members of host communities.
Mu Jianjun, the counselor for Economic and Commercial Affairs in the Chinese Embassy in South Sudan, said COVID-19 has brought an unprecedented crisis to refugees across the world since 2020 and also posed a severe problem in front of refugee protection.
"In the future, China will continue to uphold the authority of multilateral mechanism with the United Nations at its core and firmly support UNHCR and other multilateral institutions to play their role in addressing challenges of the refugee issue. At the same time, China will uphold the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind, actively deepen cooperation with UNHCR, and make continuous contributions to improving global refugee governance. I hereby would like to thank UNHCR for its long-term commitment and strong promotion and the contribution to the protection of refugees in difficult conditions in South Sudan," Mu said. ■