SYDNEY, Monday 25 May 2020 – The children’s charity UNICEF Australia announced today that it is providing additional support to Papua New Guinea (PNG) in response to COVID-19 by ensuring the supply of emergency medical supplies including personal protective equipment (PPE), with the help of a contribution from Newcrest Mining.
In close collaboration with the PNG National Department of Health, WHO and development partners, UNICEF continues to work towards ensuring frontline health workers are well equipped to continue providing health services to those in need. UNICEF PNG is now arranging further shipments of critical PPE supplies such as surgical masks, protective gowns and examination gloves, to be distributed to health facilities across the country.
“Access to PPE for health workers and in other front line services, is essential in order to be able to prevent transmission of the virus, as well as to ensure front line workers are able to continue providing essential services to children, families and communities,” said UNICEF Australia CEO Tony Stuart. “We need solidarity and generosity to overcome this global crisis. Vital assistance from private sector actors such as Newcrest Mining helps us to deliver critical emergency services,” said Mr. Stuart.
Newcrest Mining contributed $AUD607,000 in funding towards UNICEF’s humanitarian aid for the COVID-19 emergency response. This funding is helping to supply PPE to PNG. With contributions from DFAT, World Bank, the Japanese Government and Newcrest Mining, UNICEF is the major supplier of PPE gear to the Government of PNG.
The UNICEF supply shipments include 180,000 examination gloves; 100,000 particulate respirators; 140,000 surgical masks; 20,055 protective goggles; 20,000 long sleeve gowns; 52,000 faceshields. Some of the stock has landed in Port Moresby on 11th of May and the remaining is expected to be delivered in mid-June.
In addition to the PPE emergency supplies, UNICEF Australia has adapted its long-term support to PNG in an effort to minimise the secondary impacts that the pandemic can have on vulnerable children. This includes supporting vulnerable children and pregnant women with nutritional supplements to combat malnutrition; supporting alternative care arrangements for children at personal risk during COVID-19 in partnership with Government and partners; suppling hygiene kits and information to families, care institutions and correctional institutions; ensuring access to mental health support/counselling for victims of violence; and providing basic psychological first aid and mental health/psychosocial support training to parents and caregivers through communications platforms, community education and youth engagement.
Only 44% of the total funding needed is fulfilled for UNICEF’s emergency response work in the East Asia and Pacific Region. UNICEF urges more leadership and support from the private sector.
Children’s charity, UNICEF Australia, has been a champion of children since 1966. We fund life-changing programs for children and work with governments and civil society partners to protect and provide a fair chance for children. UNICEF Australia works for every child – in Australia, the Asia Pacific region, and around the world.
During COVID-19, UNICEF Australia is providing immediate relief and advocating for children to help them recover, rebound, reimagine and create a stronger future. UNICEF Australia’s COVID-19 Children’s Response Appeal will support the health, safety, wellbeing and education of children throughout the pandemic and beyond.
For more information about UNICEF Australia and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.au.