The European Commission has allocated €140 million to purchase medical devices and medical personnel equipment in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.
The commission will also redirect the use of existing instruments worth €700 million to help mitigate the economic and social impact of coronavirus in the Eastern Partnership countries.
These are very difficult times not only for the EU, but for our partner countries as well. We are doing all we can to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on human lives and livelihoods. We are responding both to the immediate needs of the health systems, as well as longer term needs to the most vulnerable groups in society and small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the backbone of the economies in the six countries,” Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi said.
An official statement reads that the European Commission will respond to immediate needs by supporting the supply of medical devices and personal equipment, such as ventilators, laboratory kits, masks, goggles, gowns, and safety suits in the EaP countries.
The European Commission is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO), and is deploying €30 million to ensure these necessary supplies are jointly purchased and effectively distributed to the health systems of the six countries in the coming weeks. In addition, the funds will support national health administrations to train medical and laboratory staff and carry out awareness raising measures to the wider population.
As part of our global response to #coronavirus pandemic, we are reallocating €140m for our Eastern Partner countries & redirecting existing instruments up to €700m to help mitigate economic impact. I wrote to PMs of ???????? ???????? ???????? ???????? ???????? ???????? to outline this. https://t.co/7omVkoRimC— Oliver Varhelyi (@OliverVarhelyi) March 30, 2020
According to the statement the commission has also made available more than €11.3 million in small grants to civil society organisations. These funds are already responding to immediate needs, through the ongoing regional “Rapid Response Mechanism”, such as supporting local schools with distance learning.
By the summer, and as part of this package, the commission will launch the “Eastern Partnership Solidarity Programme” which will target the most affected parts of the populations through civil society support and notably sub-grants to smaller, local organisations.
The statement says that the Commission is working closely with International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and financing institutions from EU member states as TEAM EUROPE providing a coordinated European response for the real economy, including SMEs, in particular through: