The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA handed 10 high-spec ambulances procured with funding from the governments of Canada, Ireland, and Japan to four regions of Ethiopia.
Of the total 10 ambulances, three ambulances were transferred to the Tigray and Amhara regions each, while two were given to each Afar and Benishangul-Gumuz regions.
UNFPA Representative, Suzanne Mandong signed the ambulances transfer agreement with Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadese in the presence of the ambassadors of the three countries and representatives of regions.
Suzanne Mandong said that UNFPA handed over 10 ambulances purchased with the generous funding of Canada, Ireland, and Japan to the four regions.
“This is a special day, indeed, for women and girls for the Afar, Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, and Tigray regions,” she said.
The support of the three governments has been very critical to UNFPA’s efforts in meeting the increasing demands for life-saving emergency sexual and reproductive interventions in humanitarian settings, she added.
“UNFPA will continue working with the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia towards achieving zero preventable maternal death in Ethiopia,” the representative reassured.
Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadese on her part recognized the timely and critical support from Canada, Ireland, and Japan.
“Today, the 10 ambulances support we are receiving for regions of Amhara, Afar, Tigray, and Benshangul-Gumuz will have a great impact in really addressing and preventing maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality, managing the effects and consequences of sexual violence or Gender-Based Violence and supporting the one-stop centers we are expanding in the different regions and providing overall sexual and reproductive health services,” Lia explained.
Different conflicts in many parts of the country have caused great damage to public and private health institutions.
“The past few years have been very challenging for us as a country where we have faced different conflicts in many parts of the country which has caused great damage to our many public and private health institutions which have devastated not only our health system but exposed millions of our people who are served by these institutions but also displaced many communities and much of the affected population as we all know are primarily women, children, and girls,” the minister said.
The ministry has been responding to emergency and humanitarian needs and restoration in collaboration with many of its partners and stakeholders.
“So far, the restoration and rehabilitation of our health system are yielding positive and encouraging results although we have a long way to go. Many of the affected facilities have started providing at least basic essential services,” she said.
While Canada funded the purchase of the 6 ambulances, Japan and Ireland funded two ambulances each, it was indicated.