ASEAN presents medical supplies and equipment to Myanmar hinh anh 1 A COVID-19 treatment facility in Mandalay, Myanmar. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Dato Lim Jock Hoi has handed over medical supplies and equipment worth 1.1 million USD to the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCR) to support the country’s COVID-19 response.

The delivery of the first batch of medical supplies and equipment was a follow-up to the Pledging Conference to Support ASEAN’s Humanitarian Assistance in Myanmar held on August 18. 

Addressing the handover ceremony which was held virtually on September 15, Lim underscored the importance of the initiative to showcase the solidarity in the spirit of ‘One ASEAN, One Response’ to extend a helping hand to the people of Myanmar in the realisation of a people-oriented, people-centred ASEAN region.

The Secretary-General thanked Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Turkey - the four donor countries and Temasek Foundation International, and expressed his confidence that the assistance would alleviate the sufferings of the people of Myanmar in this critical time.

He called on other countries to contribute to the humanitarian efforts for Phase 1 urgently and Phase 2 at a later stage. The next batch for Phase 1 is expected to be provided by Brunei, Cambodia, Singapore and Vietnam, along with other donor countries and organisations.

The Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair on Myanmar, Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof, in his recorded remarks emphasised that the COVID-19 pandemic is "the common enemy".

He urged the international community to continue to support and contribute to ASEAN's efforts, saying that "the provision of humanitarian assistance is a true reflection of the "ASEAN Way" and demonstrates a commitment to help the ASEAN Family when needed.

The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre), as the operational lead, facilitates the delivery of assistance. Meanwhile, the MRCS, as a local partner, supports ASEAN by distributing the medical supplies and equipment to the communities in need in Myanmar./.