The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) supplied essential medical equipment valued at USD 1 million to Sri Lankan Health authorities to address the COVID-19 outbreak, the UNOPS said.
In a statement, it said the Health Ministry, UNOPS and the Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka announced their collaboration to address the Coronavirus outbreak during a handover ceremony held in Colombo on Friday.
Health Minister Pavithri Wanniarachchi has said, “We are grateful to the Government of Japan for their contribution to increase treatment capacity for COVID-19 patients and to UNOPS for the timely procurement and delivery of essential health equipment to improve the supply chain of the public health response.
UNOPS Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Sudhir Muralidharan, said the COVID-19 pandemic has placed the efficiency of public procurement in the spotlight.
“The ability of governments to source what they need in a timely, transparent and responsible manner has become vital during this emergency response across the world,’he said.
This has prompted governments to update their procurement practices to speed up purchasing, enhance efficiency and open the door to alternative means of supply.
In Sri Lanka, public procurement represents close to 15% of the total GDP of which 0.9% is spent on public health procurement. The implementation of better public spending practices can play a critically important role in helping countries make progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The UNOPS has been a partner of the Health Ministry since 2005 with a significant portfolio of projects delivered in Healthcare Infrastructure and Procurement for over US$ 40mn through construction and renovation of 65 hospitals and health centres across the island, the statement said.