During his visit to Banja Luka, Head of the EU Delegation to BiH and EU Special Representative Ambassador Johann Sattler handed over medical equipment to the RS Public Health Institute in Banja Luka donated by the European Union to help fight against COVID-19.
The assistance delivered includes protective medical equipment (protective masks, protective gloves, surgical hats and shoe covers) and 20,000 units of high-quality material for the control of CoviD-19 tests. In the coming days, a higher delivery of donated medical equipment for RS is expected (38 respirators, 4 x-ray machines, 11 ECG and ultrasound devices), worth €1.5 million, as well as a larger amount of different protective medical equipment worth €700,000.
Ambassador Sattler stressed that this donation is another concrete sign of continued European Union solidarity and that the EU has proved its support many times before. “On this occasion, I want to thank all the medical professionals who are on the front line of defence against the virus. They are the real heroes and we want to help them. No one can fight this virus alone, so we must all act in solidarity,” said Sattler.
Ambassador Sattler also visited the “Mozaik Prijateljstva” Association in Banja Luka. The Association operates as a public soup kitchen which prior to COVID-19 crisis served over 500 registered users. In the past few days, the EU donated new kitchen equipment to enable the Association to cook and serve 1100 hot meals a day and increase their efficiency for at least 600 more meals intended for citizens in need. “Together we can do more and better. Zajedno smo jači!” ambassador Sattler emphasised during the visit and thanked the Association for their dedicated work.
The EU Office supported the “Mozaik prijateljstva” Association last December as well, by donating funds towards food and drinks and organisation of a holiday dinner for their beneficiaries.
Ambassador Sattler was also the guest of RTRS’s ‘Aktuelno’ to speak about the COVID-19 pandemic, relations between BiH and EU amidst the pandemic, the assistance provided by the EU during the crisis and EU enlargement process. Sattler underlined that the current crisis as well as the crisis following the 2014 floods proved that the EU is BiH’s most reliable partner.
The European Union has earmarked around €330 million for the fight against COVID-19 in BiH, of which €80.5 million in grants for emergency medical equipment and mitigation of the socio-economic consequences.