Swiss Government and UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) support Tajikistan in preventing spread of the new coronavirus

16 March 2020
SDC handover ceremony
UNICEF Tajikistan/2020

Dushanbe, Tajikistan, March 16, 2020 - As part of joint efforts to strengthen the national capacity of Tajikistan in preparedness and response to the potential spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-2019), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and UNICEF Tajikistan distributed medical supplies to the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan. The supplies, worth $50,000, were procured with technical support from UNICEF Tajikistan and the financial support of the SDC. 

Among the supplies handed over were 5,000 disposable gowns, 1,840 disposable coveralls, 10,000 sanitary gloves, 3,900 masks, 200 pairs of waterproof boots, and sanitizers.

“Last week the World Health Organization has attributed the status of pandemic to the COVID-19 infection. All countries worldwide have to act immediately in order to contain the spread of this virus. Ministries of Health have a leading role in prevention and response to the disease. Switzerland wants to support the Tajik Government in this endeavor. The Tajik authorities have  already taken measures to obtain the test kits, create stocks of drugs, sanitary and hygiene materials and food stocks. In such an emergency, it is not the sole responsibility of health workers or other authorities and institutions to fight the virus. All citizens have to be aware of their role and have to behave in accordance with the prevention guidelines. We can fight the virus if we act fast, adequately and jointly.” - noted the Head of the Swiss Cooperation Office (SSO) in Tajikistan, Ms. Walburga Ross.

“Frontline medical workers who are also parents and have children of their own are the real heroes in these circumstances and we are grateful to the Swiss Cooperation in supporting preparedness of the health system in Tajikistan to be adequately and sufficiently equipped to respond to the COVID 19 threat”-Mr. Luciano Calestini, Representative of UNICEF in Tajikistan

In addition, UNICEF and the SDC have developed informational materials on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus. These materials have been shared with the Ministry of Health and will be distributed in public places, institutions and on public transport throughout the country.

Taking into account the potential threat the virus poses to children and families – and although thus far, according to official Ministry of Health data, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in Tajikistan –UNICEF and other development partners will continue to support the Tajik government in preparing and responding to the potential spread of the disease.

Notes for Editors

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is the technical authority of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation. SDC is responsible for the overall coordination of activities in developing countries and countries of Eastern Europe, as well as for humanitarian assistance from Switzerland.

Within its Cooperation Strategy for 2017-2021 for Central Asia, Switzerland focuses on four sectors in Tajikistan, such as a) Water, Infrastructure and Climate Change; b) Health; c) Governance, Institutions and Decentralization; d) Employment and Economic Development. The overall goal of the Swiss Cooperation in Tajikistan is peace and social cohesion as well as responsive and inclusive institutions and sustainable development improve the population’s well-being. www.eda.admin.ch/dushanbe     

Media Contacts

Shuhratjon Sharipov
Communications Officer
UNICEF Tajikistan
Tel: +992 939144010
Tel: +992 907437588

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. UNICEF operates in Tajikistan since 1993. 

To receive more information about UNICEF and our work in Tajikistan, please visit https://www.unicef.org/tajikistan/

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For more information on COVID-19 and guidance on how to protect children and families, go to: https://uni.cf/38L M5F9