Chargé d’Affaires, Nicholas J. Giacobbe, Jr. Remarks at the Donation Ceremony for Medical Equipment – COVID WAVE 3 to Kosovo Hospital

Chargé d’Affaires, Nicholas J. Giacobbe, Jr. Remarks at the Donation Ceremony for Medical Equipment – COVID WAVE 3 to Kosovo Hospital and University Clinical Service (KHUCS) December 15, 2021

Minister Latifi, Dr. Valbon Krasniqi, hospital staff and guests. I am happy to be here today to mark the donation of over $520,000 dollars of medical equipment to the Kosovo Hospital and University Clinical Services. This donation will support your efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and will provide lasting improvements for the hospital.

This important donation funded by the U.S European Command and coordinated by the U.S. Embassy’s Office of Defense Cooperation is part of over seven million dollars that various U.S. government agencies have provided to Kosovo through technical assistance, and equipment and supply donations since the beginning of the pandemic – including over 500,000 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

While the number of active COVID cases is currently low, the risk remains real. One only needs to look at countries across Europe to know how suddenly the situation can change. To keep the numbers low, and to minimize further impacts from this terrible virus, we must all act now. This donation will help do just that – through preparation in the health sector and everyone doing their part by getting vaccinated – we hope to stem the tide of COVID-19.

We are pleased to turn over this life-saving equipment today, not just to help combat the current pandemic, but also to contribute to strengthening the capacity of the hospital and to sustaining Kosovo’s long term health goals. The U.S. government recognizes that capacity of the health sector is vital to the greater security of a country. Winston Churchill famously said, “healthy citizens are the greatest asset that any country can have,” and health is indeed our greatest asset. Kosovo will have to leverage its greatest asset going forward to tackle the challenges it faces as a nation. That is why since 2012, the U.S. government has dedicated more than five million dollars in U.S. European Command funds to projects at this hospital alone, and why the Office of Defense Cooperation, with U.S. Army Corp of Engineers oversight, is currently funding the renovation of the hospital kitchen.

However, if you have any complaints about the food after, just know that we don’t fund the cook.

Our donation today is further evidence of America’s enduring partnership with Kosovo, and we look forward to our continued collaboration with the Government of Kosovo on this and many other critical issues.

I would like to thank the contractor, Solution D, for their efforts to quickly bring this much needed equipment.

Minister Latifi, Dr. Krasniqi, I appreciate your efforts and the tireless efforts of your staff in providing health services to the people of Kosovo.

I hope that this modest donation will contribute to enhancing the health of Kosovo citizens.