Italy provides vital support to Yangon Government COVID-19 response
The Italian contribution has helped WFP provide daily nutritious meals for over 16,000 people, who were receiving medical and quarantine care at Aung Myint Moh, the largest COVID-19 treatment center in Yangon Region in terms of bed capacity.
The Ambassador of Italy to Myanmar, H.E. Alessandra Schiavo, said, “COVID-19 is a humanitarian tragedy of global proportions, which requires a strong and coordinated approach. Italy is close to Myanmar and its people and will continue to engage worldwide to overcome the pandemic, by supporting populations in need, by strengthening and funding the research for a vaccine, and by organizing the Global Health Summit, next 21 May in Rome, to make sure we will all get better prepared for future health challenges. Our support today to the Yangon Region and WFP is part of this vision, and part of our longstanding commitment in support of Myanmar’s sustainable development and stability.”
H.E. U Phyo Min Thein, Chief Minister of the Yangon Region Government said, “The fact that there are good-will supporters for the people of Myanmar really raises up the spirits of those receiving medical care at COVID-19 centers like here.”
The assistance is guided by WFP’s expertise in meal preparation and high levels of food safety standards.
WFP’s Deputy Country Director Marcus Prior said, “Thanks to the excellent coordination by the Yangon Region Government and generous contribution from Italy, our food assistance have reinforced the Government of Myanmar’s front-line fight against the second surge of COVID-19 in an area with one of the most pressing needs for support.”
Yangon has been the most affected region in Myanmar following an exponential increase in local transmission of COVID-19 since mid-August. WFP meals are prepared with high food safety standards, adequately meet daily nutrition needs for patients, including those being treated for COVID-19 infection.
Assisting the Government in curbing the pandemic has been a priority for the Italian Agency for Development and Cooperation since the beginning of the health crisis.
“With this specific intervention we want to provide our contribution to alleviate the direct consequences of the pandemic on the most vulnerable populations. The support of the international community has become imperative in order to complement the efforts of the Myanmar Government in this direction, and today AICS confirms to be an active stakeholder, thanks to the strong and effective collaboration with WFP,” said Walter Zucconi, Head of Office, AICS Yangon.
In Rakhine State, WFP has provided food assistance to 60 quarantine sites in eight townships since September 2020. Over 100,000 returning migrants undergoing quarantine in 11 states and regions have also received food and nutrition support from WFP.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.