UNIDO to provide emergency assistance to China to help contain the outbreak of coronavirus

 UNIDO to provide emergency assistance to China to help contain the outbreak of coronavirus

VIENNA, 14 February 2020 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will provide emergency response assistance to China to help fight the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19). A related project document was signed today by Ambassador WANG Qun, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations in Vienna, and LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO.

UNIDO will quickly deliver 100,000 medical masks and 20,000 protective suits to China. It will also provide medical waste decontamination equipment, with capacity to deal with four tonnes of medical waste per day, for a newly established hospital. Videos and other remote training materials will educate staff in hospitals and disposal centres in both cities and in rural areas on the safe management of medical waste.

Wang noted that Director General Li also wrote to President Xi Jinping last week, in which he expressed UNIDO’s readiness to provide full support to the Chinese government in addressing the epidemic. “There is an old saying in China that, misfortune tests the sincerity of friends. UNIDO’s precious support for China’s counter epidemic efforts is a classic case in point, which reflects the robust cooperative relationship between China and UNIDO. We thank UNIDO for its strong support.”

“The outbreak of Covid-19 brings new challenges to China, as the confirmed and suspected cases are still increasing,” said UNIDO’s Li. “New infections need to be minimized, including among medical staff who are the backbone of the fight against Covid-19. For this, protective equipment for medical staff is needed; but also ways to manage safely the hazards posed by medical waste. This is where UNIDO will make a difference with the support agreed today.”

“Currently, China’s anti-epidemic fight has entered the most critical stage. UNIDO's donation is most timely, and will help China in its combat against the epidemic. We will strictly follow the relevant procedures and make sure the supplies be delivered back to China’s health facilities and people with priority needs. It is our conviction that,  with the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, with the advantages of the Chinese socialism system, with all the Chinese people united as one, with the solid scientific, technological and material foundation accumulated since the founding of the People’s Republic of China 70 years ago, especially since the reform and opening up 40 years ago, with the past experiences in responding to public health emergencies, and with the vigorous support of the international community, including UNIDO, China has full confidence and capability to win the battle against the epidemic eventually.” said Wang.

Since 2008, UNIDO has assisted China in managing medical waste in a safe, environmentally sound manner. “Our transformative activities, implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, have systematically enhanced capacity on medical waste in more than 170 disposal centres and over 1,500 hospitals across the whole country,” said the UNIDO Director General.

For more information, please contact:

Stephan Sicars

Director, Department of Environment