The Gerontology Center in Sarajevo received packages of protective equipment, financed by the Kingdom of Norway and Canton Sarajevo, and procured by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in BiH.
The total value of this donation in essential protective equipment is 70,000 BAM, and in addition to the Gerontology Center, the equipment will be donated to 6 other institutions under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Labor, Social Policy, Displaced Persons and Refugees of Sarajevo Canton.
"This is a very important donation for us. We choose the 7 most vulnerable institutions when it comes to protection against corona virus, and this donation will be helpful even if the virus becomes active again in the autumn. We have agreed that the equipment will be used rationally," said Sarajevo Canton Prime Minister Mario Nenadic.
The Gerontology Center in Sarajevo is home to 350 protégés who belong to the most at-risk group. In April, the first case of new corona virus infection was registered in this Centre.
The procurement of protective equipment is part of support for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in BiH, for which the Kingdom of Norway has allocated 7.5 million NOK (about 1.3 million BAM). Siri Andersen, Chargé d'Affaires of the Norwegian Embassy in BiH, said it was crucial to act preventively, adding:
"We have good dialogue with Bosnia and Herzegovina government and our partners, and we are now looking at how to support Bosnia and Herzegovina in a medium and long term period in the light of COVID-19 crisis”.
The Kingdom of Norway has among other things so far funded the procurement of protective equipment for medical workers in Herzegovina-Neretva Canton and ECG devices for Sarajevo Clinical Centre, while protective masks and medical equipment will be delivered to the Institute of Public Health of the Republika Srpska next week. The Kingdom of Norway also provided funds for the procurement of six ventilators for clinical facilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
On March 26, the Norwegian Embassy in Sarajevo and UNDP signed an agreement on response to the coronavirus pandemic through which the necessary equipment and supplies are being procured. As part of the United Nations efforts in BiH, UNDP has been intensively working to support the relevant domestic institutions through coordination of assistance and provision of necessary resources, since the declaration of the state of emergency.