Packages of urgently needed medical supplies donated by China’s Fosun Group were received in Japan, Republic of Korea and Italy. Photo courtesy of Fosun Group.
Packages of urgently needed medical supplies donated by China’s Fosun Group were received in Japan, Republic of Korea and Italy. Photo courtesy of Fosun Group.

Beijing (People’s Daily) – Since the onset of the outbreak of COVID-19, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) has been closely following the situation and stands firm in demonstrating solidarity and enhancing cooperation with all partners in response to this “public health emergency of international concern”.

UNOSSC immediately reached out to the United Nations resident coordinator system in the country, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in China, and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Centre of Excellence in China for advice on applicable procurement channels.

The urgently needed non-invasive respirators and medical protective suits worth $100,000 were procured through UNDP China and reached the city of Wuhan on February 22 and the city of Yuxi, a project partner, on February 24.

Jorge Chediek, envoy of the secretary-general on South-South Cooperation and director of UNOSSC appreciated the efforts taken by China against COVID-19 with a special message sent to People’s Daily on March 20. The following is the whole message:

Dear friends, my name is Jorge Chediek. I am the director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation and envoy of the secretary-general for South-South Cooperation.

I would like to first commend China for how it has fought this pandemic, this virus, this sickness, this coronavirus.

This slowing of the virus’ spread is particularly remarkable as it was achieved, while China at the time continued to make progress toward its ambitious poverty eradication goals.

I would also like to recognize China for what you are doing right now in terms of cooperating with other countries in the spirit of South-South and global collaboration.

Today – in Iran, in Iraq, in Italy, in the Philippines, in Serbia, and in Spain, among many other countries – China is contributing with donations of medical supplies, sending health workers to bridge unprecedented gaps in capacity, and sharing lessons on how to flatten the growth curve of the virus as China has done.

We commend private philanthropists also, like Jack Ma, the (co-)founder of Alibaba, who donated test kits, masks and protective suits to all 54 countries in Africa, a real example of South-South solidarity.

Our office, the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, is proud to have been working closely with its partners in China since the onset of the outbreak to mobilize needed resources.

The Office provided medical protective suits and non-invasive respirators, and mobilized donations from partners, for Yuxi City in Yunan Province and Xiaogan City in Hubei Province.

A long-standing partner of the Cities Project, the Maritime-Continental Silk Road Cities Alliance Business Council (Quanzhou, China), mobilized a donation of over 80,000 surgical masks from its members around the globe – including from Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam – to assist the Isfahan city of Iran and other cities of Iran, one of the most affected countries at this stage of the outbreak.

In addition, our South-South Galaxy platform is also publishing calls for donations of personal protective items jointly with our partner the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation.

Moving forward, through the South-South Cooperation Facility for Poverty Eradication, we will continue working with China and other development partners from across the global South to facilitate connections and sharing of home-grown solutions, including through digital innovation.

We stand ready to join hands with all developing countries and partners to respond to the pandemic. We need to do it. This is a global threat. We need a global response that is an expression of solidarity, and win-win collaboration.

We want to thank China for your contribution and your example.

We look forward to the world to working together to defeat this serious enemy. Together we will do it.

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