UN agencies, partners fly COVID-19 test kits into Myanmar

Source: Xinhua| 2020-05-12 06:20:51|Editor: huaxia

UNITED NATIONS, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Humanitarian agencies of the United Nations and their partners have launched an emergency air-bridge from Kuala Lumpur to Yangon to ferry in supplies to fight the coronavirus, a UN spokesman said on Monday.

The World Food Programme launched the program by flying in 10,000 virus testing kits, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The project was established because of the suspension of commercial flights due to COVID-19. The kits were obtained by the UN Children's Fund to help Myanmar's Ministry of Health and Sports, Dujarric said.

"The European Union and Switzerland are generously funding the first stage of this flight service," he said. "Each flight can bring up to 2 metric tons of humanitarian cargo, as well as personnel."

The UN's resident coordinator, Ola Almgren, thanked all donors and member states for their support.

The spokesman also said the UN Development Programme and the UN Refugee Agency agreed on Monday with the government to extend the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding for work through June of 2021 in Rakhine State.

The memorandum, originally signed in June 2018, aims to allow for the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh, he said. It also supports development benefiting all communities living in the three northern townships in Rakhine.

More than 900,000 Rohingya have fled violence in Rakhine over the border to Bangladesh and many are now in what is now the largest refugee camp in the world. Enditem