Unicef gives $3 million worth of aid for PH coronavirus response

The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) shelled out $3 million worth of aid for the Philippine government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The United Nations (UN) agency, in a press release Friday, May 22, said the aid includes medical supplies which consists of 72,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health staff, 450,000 surgical and N95 masks, and 500 PPE for cleaning staff.

The PPE sets include masks, face shields, gloves, and coverall suits. Unicef also procured disinfection materials, including soaps, mops, buckets, dippers, alcohol dispensers, cleaning cloths and brushes, bleach, ethyl alcohol, and laundry detergent.

Unicef also provided 64 multipurpose tents to scale up the ward capacities of hospitals in regions that need them. 

The $3 million includes donations from the government of Japan, the Korea International Cooperation Agency, the UN Foundations' Solidarity Response Fund, and the United States Agency for International Development.

"We are one with the Department of Health, the World Health Organization, and other United Nations agencies in the country's response to COVID-19," said Unicef Philippines representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov.

"We continue employing every effort to contribute to the safety of frontline health workers, while supporting the continuity of essential health services for children across the country," she added.  

Unicef is also complementing the Department of Health's efforts to train health workers. Around 3,500 health workers, sanitary engineers, and inspectors have been trained in infection prevention and control.

The UN agency also said it is "stepping up assistance" to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). As of May 19, there have been 11 reported cases of the coronavirus in BARMM.

"Children's health remains to be a priority of the department during this pandemic," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III was quoted in the press release as saying. 

He added, "Parents and caregivers are encouraged to have their children vaccinated because vaccines have been proven safe and effective in preventing life-threatening diseases in children."

As of Friday, the Philippines has 13,597 coronavirus cases, with 857 deaths and 3,092 recoveries. – Rappler.com

Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a researcher-writer at Rappler. Possessing the heart and soul of a feminist, she is working on specializing in women's issues in Newsbreak, Rappler's investigative arm.