The Policy Times Dhaka Bureau :
On Monday (26 July) U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires JoAnne Wagner and U.S.-Bangladesh Business Council representatives joined officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Directorate General of Health Services in welcoming a special delivery of essential medical supplies to bolster the country’s response to COVID-19. The medical supplies were donated by the U.S.-Bangladesh Business Council in partnership with Project C.U.R.E., an American NGO and the world’s largest distributor of donated medical relief. The donation includes 60 oxygen concentrators, as well as variable positive air pressure (VPAP) units, and other oxygen supplies and device accessories – as well as 45,000 pieces of personal protective equipment, including KN95 and N95 masks – to help COVID-19 patients at medical colleges across the country.
The initiative was developed by U.S.-Bangladesh Business Council Members Chevron, Excelerate Energy, Metlife, and HSBC Bangladesh with support and coordination from the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington, D.C., Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Health Services.
“I am proud to see American business leaders come together as invaluable partners with this generous gift meant to help meet the critical health needs of the Bangladeshi people. We must and will continue to use our collective resources to fight this pandemic together, to protect health and save precious lives,” said Chargé d’Affaires Wagner.
“The Council’s members have come together to stand in support with our friends and partners in Bangladesh to tackle the surge in the pandemic with urgently needed supplies of medical equipment that we hope can provide life-saving care,” said Nisha Biswal, President of the U.S.-Bangladesh Business Council. “The robust partnership between the Council and its members, Project C.U.R.E., the U.S. and Bangladeshi governments, is a testament to expedient support and strong friendship between our two countries in times of need.”
“Throughout the COVID pandemic, Chevron has been working hard to continue providing the energy the people of Bangladesh need to overcome the humanitarian and economic challenges of the virus. The U.S. business community, with the leadership of the U.S.-Bangladesh Business Council, stands ready to support the people of Bangladesh during this extraordinary crisis.,” said Jay R. Pryor, Chevron’s Vice President of Business Development and Chair of the U.S.-Bangladesh Business Council. “Working together, we’ll emerge from this crisis ready to embrace a hopeful future.”
Steven Kobos, President and CEO of Excelerate Energy and Board Member of the U.S.-Bangladesh Business Council said, “The health and safety of our employees and local communities in Bangladesh are our top priority, as Excelerate Energy continues to provide safe, secure, and reliable energy to the country. We are grateful that Project C.U.R.E. has the experience and logistical expertise to get this lifesaving equipment where it is needed most.”
“For more than 150 years, MetLife has been helping people protect their families and build a more confident future. This is our purpose and we are glad that our MetLife Foundation is able to provide this much needed medical equipment as part of our ongoing work to help Bangladeshis achieve peace of mind in the face of continued uncertainty,” said Elena Butarova, MetLife’s Senior Vice President and U.S.-Bangladesh Business Council Board Member.
HSBC Bangladesh CEO Md Mahbub Ur Rahman said, “Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, HSBC has been beside the distressed people and the front-liners with our ‘Joy of Giving initiative. We made our effort to touch more than 100,000 people with food, medical supplies, and livelihood support across Bangladesh. I trust this medical relief with our partners is a much timely one amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and HSBC is happy to be a part of this humble initiative.”
Dr. Douglas Jackson, President, and CEO of Project C.U.R.E. said, “Project C.U.R.E. has been on the front lines to meet the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 — first delivering domestic relief to assist our local communities across the United States — and now joining with our partners in the vital mission to combat COVID-19 all over the world, including Bangladesh. These shipments of relief will be important tools to assist the local health care professionals as they work tirelessly to serve their communities and deliver health and hope”
In the coming weeks, the Council will mobilize additional medical supplies, including a shipment of 100 emergency relief beds.