Defence Force Gets Medical Supplies to Fight COVID-19

ADDIS ABABA – French Armed Forces, through the Defence Mission of the French Embassy in Addis Ababa, has provided medical equipment to Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) to fight against respiratory failure.

France’s top diplomat in Ethiopia, Ambassador Frederic Bontems, handed over the equipment to the Main Health Department of the ENDF on Wednesday.

The supplies consist of oxygen concentrators, oximeters and beds to treat people who would be affected by the virus.

“The French Military Health Service (FMHS) wants to demonstrate its full solidarity to its Ethiopian counterparts,” the France embassy says in a statement sent to The Monitor.

The plan of assistance has been established in close coordination with the French Embassy in Addis Ababa and the Ethiopian Ministry of National Defence.

The embassy says this approach of mutual solidarity contains two main phases – immediate delivery of the emergency equipment and intensifying cooperation between both Military Health Services through equipment as well as training sessions for common interest.

After the handing over ceremony, Ambassador Frederic Bontems told ENA that the medical equipment support is on the basis of the global framework of the defense cooperation agreement with Ethiopia that was signed a year ago.

The French Armed Forces and the Ethiopian National Defence Forces have developed a strong and longstanding partnership.

This mutual commitment was made formal last year by the two Ministers of Defence in a plan of action that organizes the bilateral cooperation for three years (2019-21).

Cooperation between both Military Health Services is part of this agreement and the first bilateral activities took place last October.

“We have signed a comprehensive agreement last year between our two countries and within the framework of this agreement, we have developed very strong military cooperation,” ambassador Bontems told state-run Ethiopian News Agency.

The ambassador said the reinstatement of Ethiopian navy and cooperation of health services between the armies of both countries are also part of the agreement.

“This is the first step and hopefully more support will bring notably to fight against COVID-19,” he said.