China donates 20,000 masks to refugees at Dzaleka


People’s Republic of China through the Embassy in Malawi has  extended a helping hand to refugees and asylum seekers in Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi by donating 20,000 face masks.

Ambassador Liu Hongyang for the Embassy said that they felt the need to assist refugees with the threat of Covid-19 third wave looming.

In his remarks, UNHCR Representative Kouame Cyr Modeste said that the donation came at a right time after containing the 1st and 2nd wave of the pandemic and now faced with a new reality of 4 new Covid-19 positive cases that have just been registered in the camp last week.

Modeste added that the face masks donation will go a long way in enhancing one of the key Covid-19 preventive measures to ensure deterrence of the spread of the virus in the camp.

“The donation of the Embassy of China will significantly complement the efforts made so far and will be used for general distribution to refugees and asylum seekers relocating back to the camp and new asylum seekers arriving in the camp,” he said.

UNHCR’s representative extended his gratitude to the Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Health for being the forerunner in the region in terms of vaccinating refugees with 1,686 refugees vaccinated so far and for setting aside 25,000 vaccine doses for people in Dzaleka camp.

He went on to say that Dzaleka refugee camp with the current population of more than persons of concern is heavily congested and prone to further spread of Covid-19 if the situation is not contained with all preventive measures.

He noted that there is a need for other stakeholders to follow the good gesture set by the Embassy of China to donate face masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to the camp as a way of preventing further spread of Covid-19 virus.

According to him, management of refugees requires multi-sectoral approach such that UNHCR and the Government of Malawi cannot do it alone hence the need for more collaboration with donors and other humanitarian and development actors.

He said UNHCR’s Protection mandate includes provision of protection and assistance and services to people, and ensuring adherence to legal instruments and international standards.

Modeste said they are prepared to work with all stakeholders in the management of refugees and asylum seekers.

Since Covid-19 was first registered in the country, Dzaleka refugee camp has cumulatively registered 132 Covid-19 confirmed cases, 109 recoveries and 2 deaths.