European Western Balkans

NATO helps Kosovo and Montenegro during COVID-19 pandemic

NATO headquarters in Brussels; Photo: NATO

PODGORICA / PRISTINA – NATO and KFOR continue helping Montenegro and Kosovo to combat COVID-19 pandemic by delivering crucial supplies such as masks, gloves, test kits, protective clothes, goggles, thermometers and face shields.

NATO Allies have come to the assistance of Montenegro, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States, through the U.S. European Command, has recently provided the medical supplies to the Podgorica Clinical Center, including 3 Dräger Vista 120 patient monitors, 210 infusion sets and one infusion pump, state NATO in a press release.

Furthermore, last week, the Netherlands transported 7,000 kilo / 70m³ of personal protective equipment and medical supplies from Beijing (China) to Podgorica. The delivery was made with a cargo plane. It included masks, gloves, test kits, protective clothes, goggles, thermometers and face shields. The second delivery of medical material funded by the Netherlands to Montenegro is foreseen to be organized in early May.

Montenegro requested assistance on 26 March through the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRC), NATO’s principal disaster response mechanism.

The Centre operates on a 24/7 basis, coordinating requests from NATO Allies and partners, as well as offers of assistance to cope with the consequences of major crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Various other mechanisms have been used in this instance, including purchases by the Government of Montenegro, European Union assistance for urgent medical supplies to Montenegro and donations from China.

In early April, Montenegro received masks, overalls, and test kits from Turkey as part of medical supplies provided by Turkey to other NATO Allies and partners in Balkans, including North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia.

KFOR is also helping

Photo: Flickr / KFOR Kosovo

The NATO-led KFOR mission continues its daily activities, ensuring a safe and secure environment for all communities in Kosovo, according to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999, says in a statement.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, KFOR has been fully implementing all preventive measures recommended by the World Health Organization. It has also provided assistance to local institutions in Kosovo.

In the past days, it has donated personal protection equipment worth 70,000 Euro to the hospitals of Pristina and Gracanica. This included gloves, masks, goggles, isolation clothing, as well as infrared contactless thermometers and antiseptic hand cleansing. The project was funded by NATO and implemented by the KFOR Civil-Military Cooperation team, and is part of the overall commitment of the Alliance is support of its operations and of its member countries and partners.

“The donation is an act of solidarity that reflects the close cooperation developed between KFOR and the Ministry of Public Health,” Major General Michele Risi, the Commander of KFOR said.

Recently, the Italian-led Multinational Specialized Unit deployed with KFOR has also delivered more than 50 donations of food and clothing worth €70,000 to 14 Kosovo municipalities, in coordination with local charities and the Red Cross of Kosovo.

The Multinational Specialized Unit consists of police forces with military status from Allied and partner countries contributing personnel to KFOR. They are tasked to support security operations, including through criminal intelligence control, mass and riot control, and information collection and evaluation. The Unit can advise, train and support local police forces on a wide range of policing issues.

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