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    U.S Embassy Pretoria Exchange Crucial PPE with U.S Embassy Eswatini personnel at No Man’s Land during border handover

    U.S. Embassy delivers medical equipment to the Kingdom of  Eswatini

    Photo By Lt. Col. Al Phillips | Department of Defense militry personnel assigned to the U.S. embassies in South...... read more read more

    SOUTH AFRICA

    06.03.2020

    Story by Lt. Col. Al Phillips 

    New York National Guard

    SOUTH AFRICA and ESWATINI BORDER— U.S. Department of Defense personnel assigned to the United States embassies in South Africa and the Kingdom of Eswatini met at the Oshoek Border between the two nations to hand-off medical protective equipment earmarked for the Eswatini Ministry of Health.

    The equipment includes 11,250 plastic face shields, 12,400 filtering facepiece masks, and 256 infrared thermometers.

    The equipment was transferred from the embassy personnel in South Africa to the embassy personnel in Eswatini in order to comply with South African COVID-19 quarantine policies and law.

    If the U.S. military personnel had left South Africa and returned, they would have to quarantine for 14 days. The transfer from one side of the border to the other avoided that.

    Eswatini, formerly named Swaziland, is a landlocked country which is bordered by South Africa and Mozambique. The country is a monarchy ruled by King Mswati III since 1986.

    The country, with a population of 1.2 million people is working hard to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within its borders.

    “Today, the U.S. government, through the Department of Defense, is delivering vitally important equipment, including PPE, to Eswatini to help prevent and combat COVID-19. This is just a part of the nearly E94 million in goods and services the U.S. is contributing to Eswatini’s efforts,” said Ambassador Lisa J. Peterson.

    “We will continue to work with government and our implementing partners to respond to this crisis in real and concrete ways. Together, we are working to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect people who are most vulnerable to contracting this disease, and to preserve the advances Eswatini has made in the fight against HIV and AIDS. We will continue our joint efforts to build a stronger health system for all emaSwati,” the ambassador said.

    “We want to say on behalf of his majesty’s government—thank you for this partnership between the Kingdom of Eswatini and the U.S. We are so grateful to the American government for their generosity and warm heartiness which they have shown not only in this COVID-19 pandemic but always. This PPE will go a long way in assisting the kingdom to respond more effectively to this pandemic, particularly to our beloved frontline workers,” said Principal Secretary Eswatini Ministry of Health, Dr. Simon Zwane.

    Eswatini’s economy is closely linked to the South African economy. Eswatini receives 90 percent of its imports from South Africa and 70 percent of its exports go to South Africa.

    The United States and the European Union are other key trading partners. Eswatini receives trade preferences for apparel exports from the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The country receives trade preferences for sugar from the European Union.
    Under these agreements, both apparel and sugar exports perform well, with rapid growth and a strong inflow of foreign direct investment.

    Textile exports grew by over 200% between 2000 and 2005 and sugar exports increasing by more than 50% over the same period.

    The donation of medical personal protective equipment from the United States to Eswatini is just one example of ways the U.S. is supporting efforts to control COVID-19.

    “This donation of PPE from USAFRICOM to the Kingdom of Eswatini exemplifies how despite vast distances between our capitals, governments can still work together to face down common threats on behalf of our citizens. COVID-19 is a global problem that requires global action,” U.S Embassy Office of Defense Cooperation Chief, Lt. Col Darrick Mosley said.

    The U.S. Embassy has already dedicated 22 medical and technical experts from President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Defense, and the United States Agency for International Development to work directly on Eswatini’s COVID-19 response.

    These officials support national efforts, share technical expertise, provide training, and offer a wealth of knowledge and experience in responding to this unprecedented public health threat. Through direct funding to partner organizations, the U.S. Embassy is supporting 50 clinics and 1,926 facility and community-based support staff to support the government COVID-19 response.

    This funding builds on the U.S. government’s long-standing investments in Eswatini to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic, control tuberculosis and malaria, and build capacity to respond to other public health threats.

    The U.S. is the single largest donor to the Kingdom of Eswatini.

    Over the last 16 years, the U.S. government has invested more than $500 million in assistance to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Eswatini.

    These investments in the Swati health care infrastructure have saved countless lives and are now more valuable than ever. The same platforms needed for routine care and HIV/AIDS treatment are also critical to responding to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

    Today’s border transfer of PPE demonstrates a continued and enduring commitment to helping build a stronger health system in Eswatini, protecting people who are most vulnerable from disease and working together to defeat COVID-19.

    For more information on U.S. funding and response efforts to COVID-19, please visit: https://sz.usembassy.gov/

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 06.03.2020
    Date Posted: 06.03.2020 15:25
    Story ID: 371379
    Location: ZA

    Web Views: 171
    Downloads: 0
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