U.S. Embassy Support for Kosovo’s Efforts to Defeat COVID-19

U.S. Embassy Support for Kosovo’s Efforts to Defeat COVID-19

Facing continued threats from COVID-19, the U.S. government has provided over $3 million in assistance to Kosovo in its efforts to defeat the pandemic. Do your part: wear a mask, maintain distance, and wash your hands. #MaskUpKosovo #BashkeKunderCOVID19

Ambassador Philip S. Kosnett

U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo
Hello. My Embassy colleagues and I are here today to talk about the continued threat from COVID-19, what the United States is doing to help, and what all the people of Kosovo can do to protect themselves.

I’ve been inspired by the dedicated nurses, doctors, teachers, police and other essential workers who have worked tirelessly to meet the needs of their fellow citizens during the pandemic. But every individual has a role to play.

You may have heard the news that the first doses of the vaccine – funded by the United States and other international partners – have arrived in Kosovo. More will follow, but it will take time before everyone in Kosovo has access to the vaccine. Even after vaccinations are complete, we will still need to maintain individual responsibility for mitigating the danger to ourselves and the people around us. Only by wearing our masks, maintaining our distance, and washing our hands – and getting the vaccine when you have the opportunity — will we defeat this threat to our way of life.

Aside from vaccine, the U.S. Government has provided over $3 million in assistance to Kosovo through donations of personal protective gear, medical equipment, grants for online learning, technical advice, and more. Our assistance has helped schools, health centers and regional hospitals, families and communities in all 38 municipalities of Kosovo. We are committed to continuing to stand alongside our friends in Kosovo and around the world for as long as it takes to defeat this global threat.

I invite you to watch as my colleagues at the U.S. Embassy share some of the highlights of our efforts. Together, we can defeat COVID-19.

Lisa Magno

USAID Kosovo Mission Director
To help Kosovo fight COVID-19, USAID has provided:
Hygiene kits to 8,000 families and 250 medical centers in all of Kosovo’s 38 municipalities
Over 10,000 kits containing masks, hand sanitizers, infrared thermometers to 660 schools
Awareness raising materials on COVID mitigation measures through thousands of posters and pamphlets
Three RT-PCR machines, very critical for COVID testing. You must have seen the machines at the National Institute for Public Health.
Eight thermo-scanners to screen incoming passengers at the Pristina International Airport and land crossings in Merdare, Han i Elezit, Peja, and Vermica.
Finally, the U.S. Government donated 50 ventilators to UCCK and all regional hospitals to ensure Kosovo’s frontline health workers have needed equipment to save lives. Kosovo, we are in this together.

Shawn Waddoups

INL Director
Our Kosovo partners in the justice sector, law enforcement, and correctional service closely interact with the public every day, significantly raising their risk of contracting COVID-19.
Despite the danger, they continue to provide necessary services, protecting victims, citizens, and prisoners without hesitation.
For that reason, the Embassy prioritized assisting their agencies and institutions with purchasing protective equipment to help lessen their exposure to this deadly virus.
Sadly, 18 Kosovo Police staff have died of COVID-19. We honor those who perished while securing your nation.
Another serious impact of the pandemic was the sharp increase in domestic violence-related crimes. To help Kosovo authorities respond, we supplied laptops to domestic violence prosecutors and victim advocates so they could safely and quickly react; we donated computers to domestic violence shelters so children they serve were able to continue online learning; and we helped another close partner — the Association of Women in the Kosovo Police — to provide personal protective equipment for shelter staff.
We urge you to do your part in protecting those who protect you by continuing to wear your mask, keep your distance, wash your hands, and follow the rules! #TogetherWeCan Defeat COVID-19.

Maj. Courtney Olson

Chief for the Office of Defense Cooperation
Hello. I am Major Courtney Olson, the Chief for the Office of Defense Cooperation.
Over the past year we worked closely with several Ministries including the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, Kosovo Police, the State Prosecutor’s Office, and the Ministry of Defense providing necessary personal protective equipment, like masks, sanitizer and disinfectant to essential workers.
In addition to masks, gowns, and sanitizers, through the U.S. European Command’s CARES project, the U.S. Embassy provided vital oxygen equipment to local hospitals and will continue to deliver essential oxygen gear and rapids testing equipment to the citizens of Kosovo.
Working together we can defeat COVID-19.

Besart Osmani

American Corner Prizren
When the pandemic started back in March 2020, American Corner Prizren responded quickly to support the local community and the medical staff struggling to keep the virus under control.
We successfully used 3D printers and 3D pens to print 3D face shields, and donated them to:
The Main Family Medical Center in Prizren
The Main Family Medical Center in Mamusha
The Emergency Medical Center in Prizren
The Local Institute of Health in Prizren, and to
Two primary schools.
We printed nearly 120 face shields and face masks using our 3D technology. And we could not have succeeded without the help of our two volunteers, Durim and Fikret, who risked their health to participate in our initiative.
We know our contribution was symbolic, but it was a critical encouragement to our local community at the beginning of this pandemic.

Blerta Aliu

English teacher at Abaz Ajeti Primary School in Gjilan
I’m Blerta Aliu and I am an English teacher at Abaz Ajeti Primary School in Gjilan. What we have learned definitely made us more responsible and cautious on the way we teach our students through online means. We have already started applying advice and tips that the trainers gave. We understood that it was very necessary to add the online teaching elements that the trainers suggested to us to use to become more closer and clearer to our students. I am very happy to have been selected as one of the teachers in Kosovo to attend this highly beneficial training supported by the U.S. Embassy

Ambassador Philip S. Kosnett

U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo
The U.S. is committed to working with partners across the globe to end the devastating public health and economic effects of this pandemic. As part of this commitment, President Biden announced $4 billion to support the international vaccine facility COVAX, which facilitates global access to COVID-19 vaccines. With this pledge, we are the single largest donor to COVAX which brings COVID-19 vaccines to 92 countries most in need. We saw a portion of this commitment become reality when Kosovo’s first vaccines arrived on March 28. I urge the Government of Kosovo — and every Kosovo citizen — to focus on mitigating COVID’s effects on our community. Together we can defeat COVID-19. Until then, mask up Kosovo.