Team Europe and the United Nations have handed over the second consignment of medical supplies to the Government of Nigeria. This second consignment is part of the $22m procurement of essential medical supplies for the COVID-19 response, funded by the EU and endorsed by the Nigerian authorities in the framework of the One UN COVID-19 Basket Fund to which the EU contributed €50m ($60m).
The shipment consists of over 270 cubic metres of thousands of PPEs and hundreds of other sets of medical supplies that will provide adequate healthcare for those affected by the virus but also, and almost more importantly, protection for the heroic frontline medical staff.
The need for these essential supplies has increased with the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.
This coalition of partners who support the Government of Nigeria through the One UN COVID-19 Basket Fund is multilateralism in action that allows national ownership in the COVID-19 response.
This has only been possible because a shared vision and a common strategy exist.
Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, and the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, joined other stakeholders to receive the supplies on behalf of the Federal Government.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, the EU Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Mr Alexandre Borges Gomes, noted that the EU had continued to support the Government of Nigeria in its efforts to address the health impact and socio-economic challenges of the pandemic.
“This is another genuine gesture of solidarity on the part of the EU to boost the Nigerian Government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, the more so because in Europe we are still not in the clear regarding this crisis" he said.
Mr Borges Gomes stressed that the pandemic must be fought in solidarity globally, ensuring the people most at risk are not left behind.
“The continued EU support to Nigeria translates into enhanced delivery of healthcare services to those affected by the pandemic and protection of frontline health workers.
The assistance will also help the Government to tackle the socio-economic aspect of the crisis, including the safeguarding of livelihoods of the most vulnerable,” he further stated.
The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon, while acknowledging support to the Government of Nigeria from Team Europe and other partners through the One UN COVID-19 response, pointed out that global solidarity is not only a moral imperative but is the only way to reduce the impact of the crisis: “It is in everyone’s interests that we defeat the COVID-19 pandemic together.
We will continue to collaborate with all our partners and the Government of Nigeria during this time of crisis and through the recovery process.”
In his remarks, the Nigerian Minister of Health Ehanire said this second shipment of medical supplies would calm the fears of frontline health workers. They feared that Nigeria might be running short of supplies and were threatening to strike.
He referred that with friends like these – the EU most notably – Nigeria could take some respite in the middle of a very difficult situation.
He assured the EU and the UN of judicious distribution of the medical supplies to needed areas.”