Switzerland, Norway, and UNDP finance the purchase of 30 ventilators to help Albania counter COVID-19

A new contribution of 700,000 USD by the three international donors adds to the 54 ventilators already procured by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. A joint partnership agreement was signed today, virtually, between the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the Swiss Embassy in Albania, the Royal Norwegian Embassy for Albania, and the United Nations Development Programme in Albania, outlining their support to help the Albanian health authorities combat COVID-19, by purchasing 30 ventilators.

This contribution complements the Albanian government’s engagement to increase its capacities and ensure sufficient life-saving machines for treating COVID-19 patients in intensive care.

The Swiss Government is donating 330,000 USD through its project Health for All, the Norwegian Government is providing approximately 300,000 USD, and UNDP 100,000 USD. The 30 ventilators are expected to arrive in Albania within the next two weeks and will be handed over to the Ministry of Health and Social Protection.

“The Government of Albania is fully committed to increase the capacities in the fight against COVID-19. This is a situation, in which we face more unknowns than certainties and the only way to confront this invisible enemy, is to join our forces. Therefore, your support with the life-saving equipment during these difficult days in our battle against COVID-19 is essential in strengthening Albania’s public healthcare system capacities”, underlined the Minister of Health and Social Protection, Ogerta Manastirliu.

“The Government of Albania determined that one of the top needs for managing the crisis of the corona virus was to secure more respiratory machines for the health sector. These machines make the difference between life and death for many people. We are glad to be able to respond quickly to your demand and contribute jointly to the purchase of 30 additional respiratory machines for Albania’s hospitals”, said Swiss Ambassador Adrian Maître.

The Norwegian Ambassador for Albania, Jens Erik Grondahl highlighted: “In a very difficult time which is putting tremendous strain on public health services it is necessary to show solidarity and do what we can to help each other and strengthen our common efforts in beating the pandemic. Therefore, Norway is proud to support Albania’s national effort against the Covid-19 pandemic by providing funds for the immediate purchase of ventilators for hospitals in an unprecedented partnership with Albanian Government, Switzerland and UNDP.

“At this unprecedented time, UNDP stands by the side of Albania,” said UNDP Resident Representative in Albania Limya Eltayeb. “This initiative demonstrates the power of partnerships to help countries address critical health concerns amid this global pandemic. We are very pleased to join hands with the Swiss Government and the Norwegian Government to help the Albanian health authorities with critical emergency medical equipment which can save human lives”.

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 was registered in Albania on 9 March and 416 cases have been reported so far. Immediately after the outbreak, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection determined that ensuring a enough ventilators is one of the highest priorities for Albania’s government.

Upon arrival in Albania, the 30 new ventilators will be owned and maintained by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection.