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International Cooperation and Development

EU global response to COVID-19

COVID-19 affects us all. It does not care who we are, or where we are:  everyone is at risk. As long as COVID-19 exists somewhere in the world, no one is safe. All over the world people are losing sources of income and finding themselves unable to provide for themselves and their families. The pandemic is especially worrying for partner countries outside the EU with fragile healthcare systems and economies.

The European Union and its Member States, acting together as ‘Team Europe’, are taking comprehensive and decisive action to tackle the destructive impact of COVID-19. We are adapting our priorities and programmes with partner countries to address the crisis.

We are supporting efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19 and helping countries to strengthen their healthcare, water and sanitation systems. We are also supporting the development of a fast and equitable access to safe, quality, effective and affordable tests, treatments and vaccines against coronavirus.

We have regional approaches tailored to meet the different needs of the different areas of the world. 

The action and solutions we implement today must also help build back better. Team Europe promotes an equitable, sustainable and inclusive recovery. Acting together now, we can emerge stronger tomorrow.

Team Europe is mobilising almost €36 billion for:

Emergency response

  • providing immediate support to the Response Plans of international organisations
  • providing immediate humanitarian support in affected countries, in particular in health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and logistics
  • increasing production in Europe of personal protective equipment and medical devices to meet urgent needs in Europe and in partner countries
  • organising the supply of in-kind assistance to affected countries through the Union Civil Protection Mechanism
  • providing guarantee and liquidity provisions to local banks via International Financial Institutions and European Development Finance Institutions, supported by the European Fund for Sustainable Development
  • supporting global efforts to provide sufficient supply of essential goods, food and water, measures to combat export restrictions and ensure supply chains remain intact, notably for essential medical supplies and pharmaceuticals.

Supporting healthcare systems and the response to the pandemic in partner countries

What the EU is doing:

  • strengthening the preparedness and response capacities of countries with fragile healthcare systems and providing critical medical supplies and equipment. This has been a successful approach in recent outbreaks of Ebola and Zika
  • providing protective equipment for health workers in the most vulnerable countries, both directly and through the World Health Organization’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP)
  • helping to train public health workers in epidemiological surveillance and the use of mobile labs
  • strengthening regional epidemiological surveillance and disease control institutions in Africa (Africa CDC and its regional centres), the Caribbean (CARPHA) and the Pacific (SPC)
  • supporting communication and awareness efforts on basic protective measures and hygiene advice to prevent the spread.
Hand-washing campaign Angola

Economic response

Budget support will allow governments to deliver essential services and loan guarantees to boost economic activity and safeguard livelihoods

What is the EU doing:

  • re-orientating support to national governments via direct budget support and financing (on-going programmes in 90 countries and territories, including neighbourhood countries), to shore up the economy and allow governments to continue to deliver vital health services
  • access to loans and guarantees, despite the crisis situation (see Guarantees and blending)
  • supporting the private sector through loan guarantees, technical assistance and increased access to liquidity support, working capital and trade finance.

Business response

What EU businesses are doing:

  • Stepping up local production of medical and protective equipment in developing countries  
  • Supporting governments in coordinating private and public sector response to COVID
  • Providing reduced costs and free services such as internet connection services
  • Targeting population groups and reaching out through social media to educate the general population on p- rotective measures
  • Providing free standards to manufacture COVID related equipment  and making financial contributions 

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