On May 22, the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Kyle McCarter donated 40,000 facemasks to the Border Police Unit (BPU) to help the BPU maintain a healthy and effective force during the COVID-19 pandemic. The size of the donation, made possible through funding by the Department of State’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program, equips the BPU to protect all of their personnel with facemasks as they secure Kenya’s borders, and will enable officers to distribute facemasks to Kenyans they meet on their patrols who do not have one. This donation is the latest demonstration of USA Marafiki and the long-standing commitment of the United States to help Kenya preserve and maintain both its physical security and public health.
Each of the locally produced USA Marafiki facemasks comes in packaging printed with public health information to help educate Kenyans about how to protect themselves from COVID-19. Made in Kenya, by Kenyans, the donation also supports the Kenyan economy in this time of economic hardship through the creation of jobs. The United States will continue to look for ways to support Kenyan solutions to the pandemic, as well as protect Kenyan jobs alongside the health of the Kenyan people.
Speaking at the handover event, Ambassador McCarter said: “The COVID-19 crisis reminds us all of the importance of establishing and maintaining secure borders. The Border Police Unit has been a valuable and enthusiastic partner of the United States, and we are proud to support them in their critical role of securing Kenya’s borders. We hope these facemasks will help the BPU strengthen the bonds they have formed with the people they protect and serve while supporting the health of Kenyans living in border areas.”
“The United States has been a valuable partner of Kenya and a firm supporter of the BPU in the fight against terrorism. Now that we face another common enemy in the coronavirus, we welcome the support of our friend and partner in helping us protect and serve the Kenyan people,” said Deputy Inspector General Noor Gabow.