Here we go! Convoy sets off with 70 tons of coronavirus aid for Western Balkans

The 70 tons of humanitarian aid is for Western Balkan countries to help them fight the coronavirus pandemic. Tomasz Gzell/PAP

A convoy of six trucks carrying over 70 tons of humanitarian aid departed from Warsaw today to help Western Balkan countries in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

With 600,000 masks, 60,000 liters of disinfectants and protective gear the State Fire Service trucks are heading for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia and will cover over 4,000 km in three to four days.

The fire crews form Mazowsze, Podkarpacie, Wielkopolska, and the National Headquarters are expected to take three to four days.Tomasz Gzell/PAP

During a briefing before the convoy's departure, State Fire Service’s Chief Commander Andrzej Bartkowiak said: “People in Europe and in the world can count on us.

“The plan is for the equipment to reach those in need as fast as possible.”

The trucks will deliver 600,000 masks, 60,000 liters of disinfectants and protective gear.Tomasz Gzell/PAP

Five of the six Western Balkans countries are still fighting with the spread of COVID-19. So far, Albania has had 1,004 confirmed cases, Bosnia and Herzegovina 2,614, Kosovo 1,033, North Macedonia 1,999, Serbia 11,193.

As of May 24th, Montenegro, with only 324 cases registered since the beginning of the pandemic, looks to become the first corona-free country in Europe

Apart from the equipment, Poland is supporting the Western Balkans countries politically, by involving them in NATO and EU initiatives.

State Fire Service’s Chief Commander Andrzej Bartkowiak said: “The plan is for the equipment to reach those in need as fast as possible.”Tomasz Gzell/PAP

Poland is actively engaged in the Berlin Process – a program aiming to integrate the six states with the EU, leading to their accession in the future. 

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Paweł Jabłoński said: “The fact that the Polish eagle is about to fly to the south of Europe on the tarpaulins of fire trucks with humanitarian aid is yet more proof that Poland does not forget its neighbours or other countries in need."

The transport was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior and Administration, as well as the Material Reserves Agency and the convoy is led by fire fighters from the regions of Mazowsze, Podkarpacie, Wielkopolska, and the National Headquarters.