- The fund is so far, the largest single contribution to the fight against Coronavirus in Nigeria and the largest support that the EU is providing anywhere outside Europe.
- €50m will also be for the relief and safety net for the most vulnerable people, internally displaced persons
- The fund, which would be administered by the United Nations and would increase the capacity of COVID-19 treatment in Nigeria.
The Head, European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Amb. Ketil Karlsen, said that the N21bn (€50m) donated to Nigeria by the EU is to mitigate the sufferings of the poor and vulnerable.
“That is why part of the €50m we provide will also be for the relief and safety net for the most vulnerable people, internally displaced persons. The poor people that depend on the informal markets, they do day-to-day work to put food on their table; the elderly, IDPs, and these, particularly, vulnerable people are the center-stage of our intervention,” he said.
Earlier, he had said that the donation was also meant for the provision of Personal Protection Equipment, kits, and to double the testing capacity for COVID-19 in the country.
Fielding questions from journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, shortly after announcing the €50m donation at the Presidential Villa, Karlsen said the fund, which would be administered by the United Nations would increase the capacity of COVID-19 treatment in the country.
He also added that the global pandemic meant the EU joined forces with other organizations to accomplish the humanitarian support.
“The pandemic requires global responses and if we try to fix it country by country, we may not get it right and that is why we are adopting a multilateral approach.
“So, Team Europe came up with a significant package for Nigeria; we are mobilising €50m and another €1.2m that we already gave as part of humanitarian assistance through UNICEF.”
What prompted such a humongous donation?
Karlsen stressed that the EU was concerned about the health and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, noting that Europe did not want Nigeria to experience what it was going through presently.
Earlier, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), commended the European Union for the donation.
Receiving the EU delegation, Buhari said the donation would go a long way in supporting Nigeria’s efforts at controlling and containing the virus.
How did the President react?
In response, President Buhari expressed gratitude towards the Relief fund and assured the EU delegates that the funds will aid the country's fight in containing the pandemic
He said the fund which is channeled through the (UN) One COVID-19 Basket Fund is the result of a collaboration between the EU, its member states and financial institutions such as the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
“Indeed, this brotherly support will save millions of lives. Nigeria, Africa and many beneficiary countries across the world will remain grateful for generations to come.’’
President Buhari on behalf of the Nigerian government and the people expressed condolences to EU-member countries and the families of those who lost their loved ones as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends, and communities impacted. We are confident from history that the resilience of Europe and our global collective will enable us to emerge stronger from this tragedy.
‘‘Although the EU is facing significant challenges due to this pandemic, I am indeed touched and grateful that the European Union still has the vision and foresight to remember its friends, partners, and allies across the world,’’ he said.
The fund would help cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, the president added.
FightingCOVID19inNigeria - NCDC
Currently in Nigeria, Thirty-four new cases of #COVID19 have been reported as follows:
18 Lagos 12 in Kano 2 in Katsina 1 in Delta 1 in Niger
As at 11:20 pm 15th April, there are 407 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria. 128 have been discharged with 12 deaths