South-South Solidarity Among Cities in Response to the COVID-2019 Outbreak

March 5, 2020

Quanzhou pledges and donates surgical masks to Isfahan city partners in Iran

5 March 2020, New York – Following the call for donations of medical supplies and Personal protective equipment (PPEs) initiated by the Maritime-Continental Silk Road Cities Alliance (MCSR CA) Business Council on 29 February, close to 80,000 surgical masks manufactured in Quanzhou City of China will be shipped to Iran in the coming days in response to the COVID-2019 Outbreak. Besides, the Quanzhou-based NGO is reaching out to more partners to invite pledges for critical medical supplies to affected countries.

According to the World Health Organization, as of 4 March, 2336 confirmed cases and 77 deaths had been reported in Iran, making the country the third most affected county outside of China.  After receiving the request from the Iranian Chamber of Commerce in China, the MCSR CA Business Council released the call for donations among its members globally.  Close to 37 members from China, Japan, the Philippines, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Myanmar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have  pledged to contribute with masks and disinfectants.

The Consulate General of Iran in Guangzhou will assist in the logistical arrangements from China to Iran with theMinistry of Health of Iran and the Isfahan Chamber of Commerce serving as focal points.

Mr. Cangsong Chen, Director of the Secretariat of the MCSR CA Business Council highlighted that Iran was among the first group of countries which officially expressed solidarity and support to China. Similarly, Isfahan Chamber of Commerce was among the first ones to express this message to the MCSR CA Business Council. In the spirit of solidarity, the Business Council feels committed to extending support to Iran.

Furthermore, the MCSR CA Business Council is mobilizing its members with manufacturing capacities to expand their production lines of high-quality PPE items and other needed supplies, such as sanitary pads for female health workers, to prepare for this “public health emergency of international concern”.  Per the requests of its members, the MCSR CA Business Council plans to extend support to city members of Italy and Japan.

MCSR CA Business Council is a non-profit organization established in November 2015 with a special focus on promoting city-to-city trade and investment. Since its establishment, around 150 public, private and CSO partners from around 20 countries including Iran, Indonesia, Japan, Cambodia, Philippines, Viet Nam, Myanmar, Bangladesh, the UAE, and Russia have joined the council.  Isfahan Chamber of Commerce is an active member of the  MSCR CA Business Council. Several exchange visits between Quanzhou and Isfahan have been organized since 2016.

MSCR CA Business Council of Quanzhou City has been a long-standing partner of the South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) among Maritime-Continental Silk Road Cities for Sustainable Development Project (Cities Project) which is supported by UNOSSC and the China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE). MSCR CA Business Council has also participated in three annual events of the “Bridge for Cities” initiative championed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The call for donations is still open. Please contact the Business Council through, Mr. Cangsong Chen at +86-139-6028-8078, or Mr. Xiaoliang Zheng at + 86-158-8097-3891 if you wish to make a contribution or share available procurement channels.