COVID-19: Green Ribbon Initiative bonds EU and China
Updated 15:48, 21-Mar-2020
Sun Ye, Wang Lei

400 N95 facial masks from a Shanghai consulting firm, 100 traditional Chinese medicine sachets from a Nanjing pharmacy, boxes of facial masks, test kits, protective suits, Chinese convenience food and tens of thousands of supplies from across China, are waiting to be transported to different parts of Europe.

The supplies were donated by numerous entities in China, including individuals, companies and NGOs, and was organized by the Beijing-based Dragon Design Foundation.

The Foundation, together with more than 100 other industry organizations in China, jointly proposed the Green Ribbon Initiative to raise and provide medical supplies in line with EU standards, for the European countries to fight the epidemic.

"My heart feels pain every time when I see Italian medics helpless and the elderly at a loss. It's the same feeling I had when the virus erupted in China," Zhang Qi, chairman of the design foundation, said, adding it's only natural to help Italians to fight against COVID-19.

The foundation has received donations from Italy and Sweden when the coronavirus erupted in Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic outbreak in China. Zhang said now is the time for Chinese to return the favor.

Part of the donations from across China. /CGTN

Part of the donations from across China. /CGTN

"There has never been an issue of nationality. We are in this together, we get over this together," Zhang said. "We designers design for human needs. And care is universal."

Zhang's team now is looking for more ways to transport supplies to the most needed areas in Europe.

Some of the aid supplies have been transferred to embassies of EU countries in China, and will be delivered by them. But other channels that could help deliver the aids to the hardest-hit areas fast could go a long way.

"A spare seat, some extra room on a continental flight could prove helpful too," Zhang said. "At this point, we welcome any new idea and anyone who could help."

Aside from donations, the group has also been translating useful Chinese health information, including hygiene guides for children into languages like Italian and Spanish thanks to its volunteers in both China and Europe.

However, translation is not easy and language is always a challenge.

"It's not just day-to-day communication. When we try to get the medical supplies to, for example, Italy, we must get all the Italian professional and medical terms right," Zhang said.

"We hope to get through this together."