Five fully equipped ambulances are on their way to Serbian healthcare institutions to help them respond effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to be prepared to better face future health crises.
The five ambulances bring the total number of ambulances the United States has provided to Serbia to 11. The donations are through the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) “Together Against Covid” partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). In June, U.S. Ambassador Anthony F. Godfrey handed over six ambulances to Serbian Minister of Health Zlatibor Lončar.
Valued at approximately $525,000, the ambulances comprise one part of the $1 million Together Against COVID partnership between USAID and UNDP to support health and social care facilities in Serbia. Thus far, the United States has provided Serbia with approximately $5 million in COVID assistance.
The new ambulances were dispatched for delivery to Primary Health Care Centers in Ljig, Merošina, Jagodina and Veliko Gradište, as well as the General Hospital in Loznica.
„We are in dire need of a new vehicle, since several our ambulances were destroyed in a recent fire, and we had to borrow vehicles from neighboring municipalities”, stated Doctor Milan Todorović, Director of the General Hospital in Loznica.
Previous recipients of ambulances funded by the United States are the primary healthcare centers in Bogatić, Kraljevo, Vranje and Svrljig, as well as the general hospital in Jagodina and the Special Hospital for Nonspecific Lung Diseases in Sokobanja.
“We are looking forward to the day when we can speak about this pandemic in the past tense and when there are no more COVID patients for these ambulances to transport. To get to that point, more people need to understand the importance of getting vaccinated. The Serbian Government knows this, and we will support their efforts to spread awareness,” said Shanley Pinchotti, acting Director of the USAID Mission to Serbia.
“The Covid crisis has shown that it knows no borders and how important it is to be in solidarity, to help each other, and not to forget the residents from smaller cities and municipalities in rural areas of the country. These ambulances are equipped to provide emergency medical care and we hope that they will enable all citizens who need it, to reach the health facilities quickly and safely,” said Francine Pickup, UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia.
Donation of ambulances is one of the activities within the “Together against COVID” project, funded by USAID and implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs and the Institute of Public Health of Serbia “Dr Milan Jovanovic Batut.”