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TradeMark East Africa, WFP Partner in COVID-19 Safe Border Trade in Rwanda

5:25 pm

Officials at the handover of the PPEs

TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) has donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) that will be used by frontline workers to improve safety against the New Coronavirus for border staff and persons crossing through Rwandan borders.

The donation worth over $200,000 was handed over by Patience Mutesi the TMEA-Rwanda Country Director and received by Michel Minega Sebera, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry on behalf of the Rwanda government.

The consignment contains high quality (N95) single and reusable face masks, plastic face shields, hand sanitizers and liquid soaps, disinfectant sprays, disposable gloves, thermal guns and fabricated washing points that will be dispatched to four borders-

Sebera said the support will be an added value to Rwanda’s campaign against the New Coronavirus spread through open borders but also maintain the movement of persons and goods which are highly needed in maintaining cross border trade activities under the Covid19 pandemic in East Africa.

“Equally important as we fight the pandemic is the need to sustain our economies and seek to recover the lost ground. The PPE provided by Trade Mark East Africa is very crucial in ensuring safe trade continues in and out of our borders” Sebera said.

TMEA Rwanda Country Director, Mutesi also said that the equipment is part of the TMEA Safe Trade Emergency Facility and will be distributed in partnership with the World Food Program (WFP) which has a well-developed logistic mechanism and reach.

Since 2010, TMEA has driven trade prosperity in East Africa with construction of 13 border posts in the region however the Covid19 pandemic threatens to reverse the gains made over time.

Mutesi said it is thus critical to enforce safety measures at these borders for safe trade as the border posts continue to face an increasing human traffic and delays due to check up and testing activities.

“We are committed to facilitating safe trade in the region as we have done before, during and post Covid19, to ensure that economies bounce back and continue thriving,” Mutesi said

She also revealed that since TMEA doesn’t have the experience in ground logistics, they are collaborating with WFP to bring on board their experience in managing the distribution and storage of donated consignments that will be disbursed gradually.

On behalf of TMEA, Mutesi said that all this cannot happen without the generosity of a range of regional donor countries- which include the development agencies from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Union, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom and United States of America (USA).

Officials at the handover ceremony of PPEs this Friday.

Ahmareen Karim, WFP Rwanda Deputy Country Director who represented a new donor on the above team said this collaboration contributes to their core values and easing border networks to facilitate better access for humanitarian assistance and improves response and delivery times.

“WFP works hard to ensure that the Government of Rwanda and the humanitarian community is provided with adequate, timely, cost-efficient and agile supply chain services and expertise necessary to effectively respond to any crisis that might arise,” Karim said.

After working with Rwanda during the Ebola crisis, which contributed to strengthening Rwanda’s ability to respond and prepare for Covid-19, due to the nature of the outbreak and the required response for both viruses, Karim said that Rwanda has been an exemplary country in responding effectively to such emergencies.

Karim used the opportunity to commend the Rwanda Government on its exemplary rapid response to outbreaks especially Covid-19 pandemic, which has kept coronavirus transmission low to date.

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