The fourth shipment of medical equipment containing 86 medical ventilators and more than 235,000 pieces of personal protective equipment for the needs of the health system has been delivered to Montenegro. The donation is part of the European Union’s project worth a total of 3 million euros implemented by the UNDP Office in Montenegro with the aim of providing emergency support to Montenegro in its fight against Covid-19. Since the beginning of the project, from April until today, a total of 100 hospital medical ventilators, ten modern X-ray devices and more than 400,000 pieces of personal protective equipment, including surgical masks, gloves, hats, protective clothing, aprons, glasses, shoe covers, etc. have been delivered.

On the occasion of the equipment handover, the head of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, Ambassador Aivo Orav, emphasised that the donation arrived at the right moment when Montenegro is facing the second wave of the epidemic. “The medical ventilators will significantly improve the capacities of the Montenegrin health system in order to save the lives of the most critical patients. However, I sincerely hope that it will not be necessary to make use of all of them.” Ambassador Orav reminded that the EU had provided 50 million euros in the form of long-term support for health, economic recovery, entrepreneurship and business, as well as other sectors affected by the crisis. “We have provided an additional 60 million euros for loans under extremely favourable terms, in order to support the economic stability of the country. In addition, we intend to build two new clinics within the Clinical Centre of Montenegro – for infectious diseases and dermatovenerology. The scope of our support for Montenegro, at the time when all EU member states are affected by the crisis caused by the pandemic, is a strong proof of the sincerity and strength of our partnership. “Montenegro can count on the support of the EU and its citizens, both in good and difficult times!” Orav concluded.

Deputy Prime Minister Milutin Simovic says that, like many countries, Montenegro defies the challenge posed by the Covid-19 epidemic. “Our belief in ultimate success is based on the shared responsibility and contribution of all – from competent institutions to each individual who contributes to the success by respecting imposed measures. Our optimism has been further strengthened thanks to the strong support, solidarity and partnership with our ally and friend – the European Union, which donated an additional 86 medical ventilators and 235,000 pieces of protective equipment. This is the support of a united, strong and determined Europe and all its citizens who perceive Montenegro as their friend and future member,” said DPM Simovic. The Deputy Prime Minister has also expressed his conviction that this valuable support will be an additional motivation for enhancing accountability, the sense of unity and respect for the measures that have been adopted for the benefit of the health of all citizens. “We have already demonstrated that we can overcome this challenge. Let us do it again,” Simovic said while thanking the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Ambassador Orav and the UNDP Office for implementing this project.

Miodrag Dragisic, Assistant UNDP Resident Representative to Montenegro, pointed out that no matter how much the pandemic shook the whole world, it also showed how important the spirit of unity and action with joint forces was to overcome challenges and mitigate adverse effects. “Today’s event is a testimony to that. This is the fourth delivery of medical equipment, as well as a confirmation of solidarity and a strong partnership between the Delegation of the European Union, the Government of Montenegro and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). He added that this was merely a part of the ongoing support UNDP was providing to Montenegro in response to the epidemic. “We will pay special attention to the long-term strengthening of the capacity of the health system, through the process of digitalisation, in order to ensure the highest quality health care for citizens and support medical staff to provide health services in a faster and more efficient manner.” In addition to this, UNDP will continue to provide support in the domain of the socio-economic recovery that is yet to come, primarily guided by the human development approach especially when it comes to the most vulnerable categories of society,” Dragisic said.

The Head of the Crisis Medical Staff, Dr Ranko Lazovic, thanked the EU Delegation for the donation and reminded that 86 medical ventilators that had just been delivered in addition to the 14 previously delivered make up a total of 100 medical ventilators EU donated to Montenegro. “To date, the Montenegrin health system has 322 medical ventilators, which is more than enough for the most complex scenario, which, we believe, will not happen. These are the state of the art devices with technical performance characteristic of the best European brands”, pointed out Dr Lazovic, confirming that the donation of these medical ventilators will adequately supply the health system in the most critical segment of equipment necessary to fight COVID 19. “As a final point, I want to emphasise that in all this, we need the help of our citizens, in terms of their self-discipline, personal accountability and the use of personal protective equipment,” Lazovic concluded.

The Delegation of the European Union and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Montenegro signed a contract for procuring necessary medical equipment and personal protective equipment for the health system worth a total of 3 million euros in early April. The project is funded by the EU funds while the procurement is being  carried out by UNDP in close cooperation with the competent institutions.