UNODC hands over 25,000 PPE kits to NDMA

Updated 24 Jul 2020

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The kits were procured with financial support from the European Union. — AFP/File
The kits were procured with financial support from the European Union. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) handed over 25,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) kits to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Thursday under the framework of the Pakistan’s Action to Counter Terrorism project.

The kits were procured with financial support from the European Union. Each kit includes a protective suit, a KN-95 mask, latex gloves, a face shield and hand sanitiser, as well as a guideline.

The kits were handed over at an event held at the NDMA offices, with representatives from the UNODC, EU and the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta).

With restrictions eased across the country, there has been an increase in Covid-19 cases in the last few months, which has been a challenge for frontline responders, including law enforcement organisations involved in prevention and response through law and order duties, data collection, testing, tracing and enforcing quarantine measures.

Due to limited protective gear and lack of awareness amongst police, there has also been an increase in the number of Covid-19 casesand deaths among police officials.

As a response to Covid-19, the UNODC prioritised support to law enforcement agencies in two provinces in an agreement with Nacta and the EU.

The UNODC will simultaneously launch a targeted awareness campaign to sensitise law enforcement and criminal justice stakeholders on the risks and prevention measures against Covid-19 through posters, the delivery of information, educational material for police stations, the general public and the courts, short animated videos and public service messages on social media platforms and radio stations.

UNODC Country Representative Dr Jeremy Milsom said that with the emergence of Covid-19, law enforcement agencies in the country are facing unique health related challenges.

He said the UNODC hasdeveloped a comprehensive Covid-19 support policy document for Pakistan based on the principles of partnership, inclusiveness, gender mainstreaming and the promotion of human rights.

EU Charge d’Affairs Anne Marchal said that this action illustrates the EU’s support to Pakistan in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and its agility in repurposing ongoing projects to meet the needs of the hour. In total, the EU has mobilised some€150 million to address the short and medium term response to the pandemic in Pakistan.

Nacta Member Policy Asif Saifullah Paracha acknowledged the value of the contribution and reiterated Nacta’s commitment to facilitating such support for law enforcement in the future.

NDMA Chairman Lt Gen Mohammad Afzal said that these kits would be delivered to the identified recipients in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh. In consultation with NACTA, it was agreed that 10,000 kits would go to the KP police, 7,500 to the Sindh police, 2,500 to prosecution and judicial officials in Sindh and 5,000 to the NDMA.

Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2020