BISHKEK -- The US Embassy in Bishkek at a ceremony on Thursday (August 26) handed over more than $44,000 worth of personal protective equipment (PPE), the embassy said in a statement Friday.
The donation was made on behalf of the US Department of Defence and US Central Command (CENTCOM) to Kyrgyzstan's Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES).
The equipment, which includes masks, ventilation goggles and full body suits, is aimed at protecting MES personnel from COVID-19.
Lt. Col. Keith McKee, the embassy's senior defence official, joined Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations Kalys Ahmatov and other Kyrgyz officials at the ceremony.
This delivery of PPE contributes to the more than $5 million of total COVID-19 support that the United States has provided to Kyrgyzstan, McKee said. "We look forward to pursuing future possibilities to train and work jointly with the Kyrgyz Republic."
Ahmatov thanked the United States for the PPE donation.
"Earlier, within the framework of co-operation between the Ministry and the US Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic, a number of significant results were achieved in the field of disaster risk reduction and advanced training of Kyrgyz emergency rescue personnel," he said.
"The experience of foreign countries with a strong developed civil protection system is always interesting for us in order to improve the skills of the professional activity of emergency rescue personnel, to increase the potential of the Ministry as a whole," Ahmatov said.
"In this regard, we are very interested in the further development of bilateral relations," he added.
30 years of co-operation
The United States and Kyrgyzstan have co-operated on security-related issues 30 years, addressing a variety of challenges, including disaster preparedness and countering transnational threats, the statement noted.
Last December, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began deliveries of $652,000 (53.9 million KGS) worth of laboratory supplies and equipment to Bishkek, Naryn, and Osh cities and At-Bashy district to help Kyrgyzstan combat COVID-19.
The equipment included 10 PCR Thermal Cyclers, at a total value of more than $300,000 (24.8 million KGS).
The aid was expected to increase Kyrgyz COVID-19 testing capability by 2,700 tests per day.
The donation was part of $1.38 million (114.1 million KGS) worth of support pledged by the CDC to help Kyrgyzstan combat COVID-19.