COVID-19: The European Union stands by its Southern partners
April 23, 2020
The European Union stands firmly by its partners in the Southern Neighbourhood and is reallocating up to €2.1 billion of existing funds in bilateral and regional assistance as part of the EU’s global response to the coronavirus outbreak. This includes €30.8 million for immediate needs, €572 million to strengthen national health systems and €1.5 billion to support the socio-economic recovery of Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine* and Tunisia.It will also help respond to the needs of those inside Syria through health provision and community-driven development support.
Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, commented: “In the fight against COVID-19 pandemic the European Union is supporting its neighbours in very concrete ways. When it comes to our partners in the Southern neighbourhood, we are helping to address the most immediate needs, to provide assistance for the health systems and to mitigate the socio-economic consequences of the crisis. With emergency aid already being delivered on the ground, we continue to focus on redirecting significant funds to help alleviate the long-term impact, in cooperation with the international financial institutions. For us working with our neighbours in this global pandemic is key: we can only make it together.”
As an emergency response at the regional level, the Commission launched a new €9 million programme with the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) to provide tailor-made support to all neighbourhood and enlargement countries to enhance their preparedness and response capacities. Epidemiologists and frontline health staff will receive help and advice from dedicated ECDC staff to respond to heightened needs caused by the pandemic.