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World Food Programme sends medical equipment to support China’s response to coronavirus

US$500,000 worth of kit set to assist Chinese government efforts to treat patients and stem the spread of coronavirus
, World Food Programme
The first batch of WFP supplies, including 50 sets of non-invasive ventilators, reach Wuhan. Photo courtesy of Yingshi Zhang

The World Food Programme (WFP) is providing lifesaving medical equipment worth US$500,000 to help China's frontline hospitals in Hubei province, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.

Supporting the Chinese Government in treating severe cases of COVID-19, WFP is providing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) equipment and non-invasive ventilators (NIV) for treating critically ill patients.

The first batch of 50 ventilators has made its way from Beijing to the Charity Federation in Hubei. More ECMO equipment is scheduled to arrive in Wuhan on Wednesday 18 March.

Staff from Hubei Charity Federation receive the first batch of ventilators. Photo courtesy of Hong Li

"WFP is working closely with the Chinese Government to ensure assistance is aligned with the country's national priorities, including mitigating the long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in rural areas," said Sixi Qu, WFP's Country Director for China.

"WFP stands ready to support the Government of China, and the office in Beijing is in close contact with authorities to provide emergency support and assist with the procurement of much-needed medical equipment. In addition to medical equipment, WFP is also providing strategic air transport of critical items. Our expertise and tools will also be used for a joint assessment of COVID-19."

The devastation caused by the pandemic is demanding an unprecedented response. In February, the heads of the UN Rome-based agencies — WFP, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Fund for Agricultural Development — issued a statement to express solidarity with China and to pledge support.

The World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

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