The European Commission announced on February 24 a new aid package worth 232 million euro to boost global preparedness, prevention and containment of the Covid-19 new coronavirus.
Of this sum, 114 million euro will support the World Health Organization (WHO), in particular the global preparedness and response global plan. This intends to boost public health emergency preparedness and response work in countries with weak health systems and limited resilience. Part of this funding is subject to the agreement of the EU budgetary authorities.
A total of 15 million euro is planned to be allocated in Africa, including to the Institute Pasteur Dakar, Senegal to support measures such as rapid diagnosis and epidemiological surveillance.
A sum of 100 million euro, out of which up to 90 million euro Public Private Partnership with the pharmaceutical industry and 10 million for research on epidemiology, diagnostics, therapeutics and clinical management in containment and prevention
Three million euro is allocated to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism for repatriation flights of EU citizens from Wuhan, China.
“As cases continue to rise, public health is the number one priority. Whether it be boosting preparedness in Europe, in China or elsewhere, the international community must work together. Europe is here to play a leading role,” said Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission.
Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, and European Emergency Response Coordinator said: “With more than 2600 lives lost already, there is no option but to prepare at all levels. Our new aid package will support the World Health Organisation and target funding to ensure countries with weaker health systems are not left behind. Our goal is to contain the outbreak at a global level”.
Following the developments in Italy, the European Commission is stepping up its support to member states in the context of the on-going work on preparedness, contingency and response planning, the Commission said.
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety said: “In view of the rapidly evolving situation, we stand ready to increase our assistance. In this vein, a joint expert mission of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organisation will depart to Italy this week to support the Italian authorities.”
(Photo: Sébastien Bertrand)