Afghan border agencies have received COVID-19 medical supplies and protective equipment with the financial support of the European Union.
The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), an international organization, has provided infrared thermometers, N95 masks and PPE gowns, gloves and sanitation supplies, “thanks to the generous financial support of the European Union,” ICMPD said in a statement.
The equipment will be used at border crossing points by the Interior and Defense Ministries and Afghan Customs.
“This equipment will allow officers working at Afghanistan’s border crossing points and land-borders to protect themselves when screening travellers, disinfecting surfaces and isolating sick travellers at the borders, in line with international good practices,” according to the statement.
“These steps may help prevent the spread of the disease as well as allowing border crossings to remain open for business. Keeping borders operational means medical equipment and doctors from third countries can enter Afghanistan, as well as allowing cross-border trade integral to the national economy to continue uninterrupted,” the statement said.
“Our support to Afghan border agencies is part of EU’s overall commitment to strengthen Afghanistan’s regional dimension and connectivity. In particular, this financial contribution comes in addition to the 146 million Euros that the EU has already committed to Afghanistan in its fight against COVID-19,” said Pierre Mayaudon, EU ambassador to Afghanistan.
“The government of Afghanistan and ICMPD will need to continue our close cooperation to ensure Afghanistan’s border agencies have the tools and knowledge necessary to respond to crises such as COVID-19. Supporting the future development of Afghanistan’s borders is necessary to protect against such risks in parallel with allowing the well-managed movement of people and goods across borders," said Sedef Dearing, regional coordinator for the Silk Routes Region, ICMPD
So far 35,503 people in Afghanistan are known to have been infected, and 1,183 deaths due to COVID-19 have been reported, according to the Afghan Ministry of Public Health.