A new delivery of personal protective equipment as part of the rescEU stockpiling capacity under the Union Civil Protection Mechanism arrived this week in Montenegro, with smaller part expected next week. 300,000 masks, 227,900 gloves, 100,000 goggles, 100,000 shoe covers, and other protective equipment arrived from several EU member states: Romania, Greece, Germany, and Belgium. The beneficiary of all medical supplies is the national pharmacy institution ‘Montefarm’.
The first delivery, on 31 March, contained protective equipment from Greece, consisting of 200,000 pieces of vinyl gloves, 100,000 pieces of protective goggles and 100,000 pieces of shoe covers. Commenting upon the arrival of the medical supplies, Ambassador of Greece Panayotis Partsos said that it is the second shipment from the Civil Protection of Greece, following that of 11 February 2021, when 90,000 FFP-2 type masks were delivered directly to the Clinical Centre of Montenegro. “The European Union is here, with its Member States, showing its readiness to stand by Montenegro, helping it to face the pandemic. We can get through this crisis with solidarity”, he said.
The delivery from Romania consists of 100,000 FFP2 masks and 100,000 FFP3 masks, worth EUR 651,380. Earlier today, Ambassador of Romania Viorel Ardeleanu participated in a hand-over event for the donation of medical equipment to Montefarm, together with Ministry of Interior State Secretary Zoran Miljanic, EU Delegation Chargée d’Affaires Plamena Halacheva, IGSU representative Lt. Col. Adrian Deacu, and Romanian Consul Radu Gorincioi. The Romanian Ambassador underlined the importance of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism in supporting Montenegro and other countries requesting EU assistance, in the spirit of European solidarity. This is the third delivery of protective equipment and medical masks donated to Montenegro by Romania, through the European capacity of civilian protection from the reserves formed within RescEU, since the beginning of the pandemic. On 8 July 2020, Romania delivered 10,000 protective masks, and on May 11, 2020 – another 10,000 were sent to Montenegro through RescEU.
The delivery from Belgium, scheduled to arrive on 7 and 9 April, will consist of 100 000 surgical masks; 27,900 pieces of nitrile gloves and 10,000 face shields. Belgian Ambassador Koen Adam said he is very pleased with this donation which comes at a trying moment for Montenegro. “The EU is all about solidarity, not just among the Member States but also with the neighbouring countries and the EU candidate countries in particular. Every opportunity to make this solidarity to the Montenegrin people tangible and concrete is great,” said Adam.
The equipment from Germany is expected to arrive tomorrow.
Chargée d’Affaires of the EU Delegation to Montenegro Plamena Halacheva pointed out that during these difficult times, the EU and its Member States continue to stretch out a helping hand and provide assistance to those most in need. “The pandemic is not over yet, so we must remain vigilant, respect epidemiological measures, wear masks and keep our distance. I hope that this equipment will help those on the front line, the medical staff, to do their vital job safely and efficiently. We are in this together and we will only beat this pandemic together, because no one will be safe until everyone is safe“, said Halacheva.
State Secretary Zoran Miljanic said that the donation is very valuable and much needed help for healthcare professionals. “In addition to that, it carries the message of solidarity, humanity and unity of Europe in the fight against coronavirus; it is proof that we are neither alone nor forgotten by our European friends in this difficult time when every country is facing this problem. So, in this way, Europe is sending the message that by caring for others, it is caring for itself, and we are all working together to create a single answer that I believe will ultimately yield the desired results,” said Miljanic.
In March 2020, the European Commission created a strategic rescEU capacity – a common European reserve – of emergency medical equipment, such as ventilators, protective masks, gloves and laboratory supplies to help EU countries face the coronavirus pandemic. The Commission finances 100% of the capacity (including the procurement, maintenance and the delivery costs), which is hosted by several Member States and is constantly replenished. The hosting States are responsible for procuring the equipment with the support of the Commission. Montenegro has already benefitted from deliveries through the RescEU mechanism, facilitated by Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Romania.