Covid-19 Global Response: EU mobilizes €84 million for Salone & others
The European Union Commission has announced the mobilization of €84.26 million in support of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in four African countries: Sierra Leone, Benin, Central African Republic and Liberia.
Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, declared that: “Our comprehensive response to the coronavirus is to offer urgent support to our partner countries in their efforts to respond to the health and socio-economic impact of the crisis. Beyond that, it involves planning the recovery in the long term so that together we can build a greener, fairer and more sustainable world for future generations. I am convinced that Europe's engagement towards our African partners will make it possible to achieve these two key objectives.”
The new EU funds will benefit the fight against coronavirus in the following countries: Benin (€46.56 million), Central African Republic (€14 million), Liberia (€8.7 million), and Sierra Leone (€15 million). These countries, which are all long-standing partners of the European Union, will be able to provide their populations with increased health and social protection support in 2021 at the same time as support to their business sector during this difficult period.
To assist the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU has announced budget support worth €15 million. This comes on top of an emergency disbursement of €10 million announced in May 2020, bringing the total amount of EU support to €25 million. These funds will reduce pressure on the national budget and enable the government to prioritise spending in response to the pandemic, while ensuring continued support for development priorities. For example the funds will enable increased spending on health care and social protection, the fight against food insecurity and support for the most vulnerable businesses.
Team Europe's total global response to COVID-19 stands at almost €38.5 billion, combining resources from the EU, its Member States, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Around €8 billion of this assistance is earmarked for African countries. These countries will also receive a significant share, worth €3.1 billion, of Team Europe investment guarantees. The guarantee scheme aims to promote access to finance for the private sector and to encourage investment.