ADDIS ABABA, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Massive medical supplies donated by China's Jack Ma Foundation to 54 African countries arrived on Sunday morning in Addis Ababa, capital of the East African nation of Ethiopia, through an Ethiopian Airlines cargo flight.
With a crowd of journalists and crews of different media houses, officials and representatives of national and international offices as well as diplomats and Africa CDC experts attended the arrival and delivery ceremony held on the premises of the Ethiopian Airlines Cargo terminal in Addis Ababa.
The participants of the ceremony have hailed the donation that it has a great contribution to deal with the epidemic in Africa.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Health will coordinate logistics works, working with Ethiopian Airlines, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and several partners and supporting the initiative for the distribution to the different countries.
Speaking to journalists on the occasion, Ethiopia's Minister of Health Lia Tadesse noted that Ethiopia is working closely with China, whereby the East African country has been receiving medical supplies and also learning experiences from China.
The Minister has also hailed the donation by Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation, which she said has significant impact in addressing the problem in Ethiopia, in particular and Africa in general.
"This shows the strong commitment and solidarity of these two countries and these two leaders to really bring significant impact to reversing the outbreak of COVID-19 not only in Ethiopia but also in the whole of Africa. So, we are really grateful and we believe this huge initiative will bring a big impact in the response activities that are being done by all countries," she said.
"It is really commendable. What China has done is an amazing learning for the whole world. Not only this donation but we are also working very closely with the Chinese government to learn and also get other supplies," the Minister has said.
"So far, we have been getting some support in terms of testing kits and other supplies from China," the Minister added.
Speaking to Xinhua after the delivery ceremony, Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, said the donation by Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation is an exemplary move, serving as a lesson to the rest of the world, showing collaboration and joint efforts in the battle against the epidemic.
"We have got now triple 7 freighter full medical equipment, and we are going to use the warehouse today to distribute for all 54 African countries," the CEO has noted.
"The message is very important. It is a very good example for all over the world that feel panic and blame is not the answer. The answer is organizations, countries, institutions, and governments bringing their resources together to team up to provide this kinds of medical supplies medical equipment for the protection of the people. So, this is a very good example," he said.
Attending the ceremony on the premises of the Ethiopian Airlines, South African Ambassador to Ethiopia and also to the African Union (AU), Edward Makaya, has hailed the donation as it would go a long way to support Africa in dealing with the epidemic.
South Africa is one of those countries that have got the largest number of COVID-19 cases. This contribution is going to go long way to assist not only South Africa, but the entire continent to be able to have the capacity to test, to health protective cares, the ambassador added.
The WFP Representative and Country Director in Ethiopia, Steven Were Omamo, told Xinhua on his part that the donation has incorporated important stuffs like the testing kits, and that it contributes significantly in the battle against the epidemic in Africa.
"It is amazing and generous donation, and nothing could be done more important than this time for Africa. So, this initiative by the Jack Ma Foundation and Ethiopia's Prime Minister is fundamental," he said.
The relief donation forms part of Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation's ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 and provide aid to afflicted communities across the globe.
Earlier this week, the foundations had announced their commitment to donating 100,000 medical masks, 20,000 test kits and 1,000 protective suits and face shields to each of the 54 nations in Africa.