The fight against COVID‑19 – Medical equipment for Western Balkan countries

Handing over aid in Skopje: North Macedonia receives equipment from Germany

Handing over aid in Skopje: North Macedonia receives equipment from Germany, © AA

04.02.2021 - Article

From Pristina to Podgorica – Germany stands in solidarity with the countries of the Western Balkans in the fight against the COVID‑19 pandemic; together with the WHO, it has provided them with ventilators and pulse oximeters.

Fighting the pandemic together and in a spirit of solidarity

Items of equipment are handed over in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Items of equipment are handed over in Bosnia and Herzegovina© AA

COVID‑19 still has the world in its grip. Nearly all countries are facing a second wave, and health systems are once again nearing capacity. Countries in Europe, too, are fighting the second wave. Just like everywhere else, European solidarity is key to getting the virus under control – because no one is safe until everyone is safe.

That is why Germany on the one hand is supporting multilateral action, such as the development of vaccines and medication. On the other hand, Germany is also helping individual partner countries as they fight the pandemic – including the countries of the Western Balkans. Between December 2020 and January 2021, Germany provided medical equipment to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.

To improve these countries’ medical care, they were given ventilators and pulse oximeters – devices that can measure the blood oxygen level. All of these aid shipments were provided together with the WHO regional office for Europe and in coordination with the WHO offices in the respective countries.

  • The Ministry of Health of North Macedonia took delivery of 84 ventilators and 100 pulse oximeters (30 December 2020).
  • In Montenegro, representatives of Germany and of the local WHO office handed over pulse oximeters to the Ministry of Health (4 January 2021).
  • In Kosovo, the Ministry of Health and the University Clinical Centre in Pristina received 5000 pulse oximeters and 200 ventilators (14 January 2021).
  • In Albania, too, 1000 pulse oximeters were provided to the Ministry of Health, where they were handed over to the Albanian Minister of Health and her deputy (15 January 2021).
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina received 50 ventilators and 10,000 pulse oximeters (15 January 2021).

International aid from Germany

The aid is being provided in accordance with a Federal Government strategy paper that was adopted by the cabinet in June 2020 and that is entitled “An effective international response by Germany to COVID‑19”. In it, the Ministries agreed to provide medical materials to third countries in response to bilateral requests for assistance, for the purpose of fighting the pandemic.

The aid being provided through the Federal Government’s programmes goes beyond the assistance that is being made available by the European Union, the United Nations and other international organisations. The main focuses are Africa, the Middle East, the Western Balkans and the countries of the Eastern Partnership.


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