While many European nations cautiously start reducing their COVID-19 restrictions, U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) continues to support NATO Allies and partners to fight the deadly virus.
In the past two weeks, the command approved, funded and coordinated the delivery of critically needed COVID-19 aid to several nations across the European theater of operations.
“In this unprecedented moment, it’s especially important that the United States stand strong with our NATO Allies and partners,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jessica Meyeraan, USEUCOM’s deputy director of partnering, security cooperation and missile defense. “While post-pandemic life begins to slowly reemerge, nations continue to fight back this virus to prevent another outbreak. Our friends continue to need our assistance and we’re demonstrating every single day that we’re there for them.”
Today in Kosovo’s capital city of Pristina, USEUCOM and the U.S. Embassy-Pristina’s Office of Defense Cooperation coordinated the delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the country’s Ministry of Health. Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster and Civic Aid appropriation the aid will help that frontline agency continue its pandemic-fighting efforts.
USEUCOM-donated disease prevention and control supplies were also delivered to the Belarusian Armed Forces’ central hospital in Minsk on June 4 to assist that facility in continuing its important work to curb the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus. The 1,300 N95 respirators and 200 protective goggles will help safeguard military medical staff in Belarus as they continue to treat COVID-19 patients.
In Riga, Latvia, nearly 25,000 disposable latex gloves and 1,000 liters of hand sanitizer were delivered to the country’s Ministry of Education for schools across the country. Delivered on May 30, those supplies will help Latvian students safely complete year-end exams in the midst of the COVID-19 heath crisis.
“We’re giving out hand sanitizer and gloves for the kids to take exams today to protect themselves, protect their families and protect their communities,” said U.S. Ambassador to Latvia John Carwile, who formally presented the COVID-19-related donation to Latvia’s Minister of Health Ilze Viņķele and Minister of Education and Science Parliamentary Secretary Reinis Znotiņš.
That delivery of aid to Latvia was the second such delivery in as many months as 3,660 liters of hand and surface disinfectants was donated to Latvia’s Emergency Medical Service earlier in May.
“There is no doubt that this pandemic strained healthcare systems across the globe,” said USEUCOM’s command surgeon, U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Kobelja. “From the stressors emplaced upon frontline health professionals like doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians to the depletion of critical medical supplies and equipment, COVID-19 inflicted more than pain and death on hundreds of thousands of global citizens and their families. It took a tremendous toll on individual nations’ healthcare infrastructure and logistics. That’s why this support is so important.”
During this unprecedented health crisis, USEUCOM has supported 15 European nations with 18 donation projects so far.