The European Union has approved an additional €17.2 million through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) to support COVID-19 preparedness in Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan.
Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen said the additional funds will be directed towards supporting vulnerable people and strengthening health systems in the three countries.
“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,” said Urpilainen.
She noted that the EU will work together with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the World Health Organisation in delivering the new assistance.
Of the three countries, Sudan is the hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, having reported 13,943 infections and 837 deaths. Somalia has recorded 4,229 cases and 107 deaths while South Sudan has registered 2,943 cases and 59 fatalities.
Of the latest funding, Sudan is set to receive €10.2 million to strengthen its COVID-19 health response programmes. Somalia on the other hand will receive €5 million to support programmes aimed at protecting the most vulnerable people, including refugees and displaced persons, and creating favourable conditions for economic and social development. South Sudan will receive €2 million to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline health workers engaged in the COVID-19 response.