EU provides additional €17.2m to support health systems in Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan
The European Union has approved an additional €17.2 million through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) to support coronavirus preparedness in Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan. The EUTF support to the emergency health response in the Horn of Africa now reaches almost €300 million and another €480 million to minimize the economic impact of the pandemic in the region.
Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships said: “The Emergency Trust Fund for Africa has been a key instrument in supporting some of the most vulnerable populations in the Horn of Africa. It has already improved the access of more than 4.8 million people in the region to basic services such as health, sanitation and nutrition. These additional €17.2 million will support in particular internally displaced persons, refugees, and their host communities in Somalia. They will help provide protective equipment for frontline health workers in South Sudan and strengthen the Sudanese health system. The EU will work hand in hand with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the World Health Organisation to deliver this new assistance from Team Europe.”
In Somalia, €5 million will support a new strand of work under the RE-INTEG programme to help face the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. This programme aims to protect the most vulnerable people, including refugees and displaced persons, and to create favourable conditions for economic and social development. The new component will increase cross-border health surveillance, enhance epidemiological observation at health facilities, and improve case management. It will also include community-based prevention activities and capacity building for national public health personnel. The World Health Organization (WHO) will manage the work in close coordination with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the EU response to the health and socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in the IGAD region.
In Sudan, €10.2 million will strengthen a coronavirus health response programme financed under the EUTF. Implemented by the WHO, the programme addresses critical shortcomings in health governance, epidemiological surveillance, and epidemic preparedness. The programme, in April 2020, also receives €400,000 in co-funding from the WHO, bringing the total amount to €20.6 million. The programme follows the humanitarian-development-peace nexus approach piloted in Sudan. The EU has also recently signed a €92.2 million agreement with the World Bank to support Sudan in tackling the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
In South Sudan, the Support to health services programme will receive an additional €2 million to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline health workers engaged in the coronavirus response through a component implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP).
The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa was established in 2015 to address the root causes of instability, forced displacement and irregular migration and to contribute to better migration management. The EU, its Member States and other donors have so far allocated resources amounting to €5 billion to the EUTF.