Brunssum, The Netherlands, Thursday 28 May 2020
In the frame of NATO Allies’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic and their assistance provided to member nations and partners, the Polish military contingent operating with the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) has distributed sanitary and personal protection equipment to the Health Institutions in Kosovo. The delivery represented a donation from the office of the President of the Republic of Poland. It included 50.000 face masks and 1.000 liters of disinfectant fluid that were flown to Kosovo by a C-295M Casa transport plane of the Polish Air Force last week. Polish Soldiers of KFOR Regional Command East subsequently liaised with the University Clinical Centre of Pristina and the Medical Centre in Strpce to implement the distribution. The latter is providing assistance to nearly 14.000 citizens from both the Serbian and the Albanian communities and has had a long-term cooperation with the Polish Liaison and Monitoring Team based there.
NATO Allies have also agreed to support the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) that issued a global call, related to the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Appropriate military and civil defence assets are requested to be made available for the transport of urgently needed humanitarian and medical items. For this, the NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) responded to UN OCHA, indicating the Alliance’s decision to support the request. The Alliance’s exact assistance will be determined based on close coordination between UN OCHA, the EADRCC and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), as well as the availability of airlift assets from Allies and partners. Forces from across the Alliance are playing a vital role in fighting the crisis.
Several NATO nations continue with relaxations of COVID-19 restrictions, including for their military. In Denmark, all members of the Armed Forces stationed west of the Great Belt are back to work at their barracks. This is part of the so-called Reopening Phase 2, initiated by the Danish government. Danish defense personnel had largely been sent home because of the Corona crisis in mid-March.