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UNICEF Lebanon released the following statement on Thursday:

“Today, UNICEF and the Japanese Embassy in Lebanon handed over the Karantina supply warehouse to the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH). Following the heavy damage caused by the explosions in Beirut in 2020, the warehouse was rehabilitated and expanded to ensure the return of a functional and standardized central facility capable of supporting national efforts to improve maternal and child health and the general well-being of the most vulnerable people in the country.

The building is now one of the largest medical equipment and supply facilities in Lebanon, with 1,050 m2 of construction area spread over two floors and 2,250 m3 of storage capacity for personal protective equipment. , vaccine consumables and medical equipment. The warehouse has advanced firefighting, lighting and grounding systems to ensure the protection of personnel and equipment in accordance with international standards. UNICEF also installed a back-up generator and a solar power system to ensure an uninterrupted power supply.

“The aftermath of the explosion in Beirut has caused many disruptions in the national health system and UNICEF is proud to have supported Lebanon in the construction and rehabilitation of key medical facilities in Karantina, such as a center of primary health care, the cold chain and the refrigeration rooms of the central drug warehouse, the renovation and completion of the new building of the public hospital of Karantina University and today the warehouse supplies,” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon. “These facilities will restore access to quality essential health services for vulnerable populations, especially children, and contribute to the proper functioning of the health system across the country.”

Construction work began in May 2021 by UNICEF with generous funding from the Japanese government. UNICEF appointed a monitoring office to ensure project quality and safety levels and meet statutory and legislative standards and carried out independent technical monitoring, control and quality assurance tasks throughout the period. construction and implementation phases.

Japan’s Ambassador to Lebanon, HE Mr. Takeshi Okubo said, “Amidst the heightened crisis that Lebanon is going through, the health sector has proven to be the country’s main artery. For this reason, Japan has spared no effort in supporting projects aimed at strengthening the resilience of the medical sector and making it better able to face any future challenges, whether by providing state-of-the-art equipment for health care , supporting construction efforts or even equipping hospitals with solar panels to cope with the ongoing electricity Japan will continue to support Lebanon in these critical times and work with local and international actors to continue efforts to recovery.

In his speech, the Minister of Public Health, Dr Firas Abiad, said: “Recovery is the path chosen by the ministry to overcome the aggravated crises that Lebanon is going through, and this project brings a glimmer of hope to achieve on this recovery. He thanked the Japanese Ambassador and UNICEF for their continued support to the health sector. “This support will help us move forward towards a better future.”

The new supply warehouse will increase the Ministry of Public Health’s storage capacity of medical supplies and consumables at the central level by approximately 60%. UNICEF will continue to support Lebanon in strengthening its health system to ensure that all children and mothers have access to quality health services. »