Head of the EU Delegation to Ethiopia, Johan Borgstam, said this at the launch of the programme in Addis Ababa,
Borgstam said the programme intended to help IGAD member states tackle the health and socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.
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“Through this project we will procure 3.5 million surgical masks and gloves, 70,000 test kits (including 105,000 swabs), eight mobile labs and 24 ambulances,” said Borgstam.
IGAD, founded in 1986, is an East African trading and security bloc that includes Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.
Borgstam emphasised the COVID-19 pandemic is a global health threat that knows no border and as such can only be dealt through international partnership.
“We’re a time when the spread of the pandemic is accelerating, affecting the most vulnerable communities including migrants, refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs),” said Borgstam.
“Specifically, for Ethiopia, the EU has mobilised and disbursed 10 million Euros in April 2020 as part of its ongoing Health Sector Budget Support to respond to COVID-19 crisis in Ethiopia while about 50 million euros is being mobilised for the economic response,” he said.
Executive Secretary of IGAD, Workneh Gebeyehu, while appreciating the 60 million Euros anti-COVID-19 assistance programme, emphasised that there was much that needed to be done to beat the pandemic in the East African region.