The COVID-19 crisis is affecting us all. Countries around the world are struggling with its effects and experiencing an unprecedented negative economic fallout. Lebanon is no exception: the country is coping with the COVID-19 crisis with limited resources and against the backdrop of a preceding financial and economic crisis.
Responding to this emergency requires a common approach, shared responsibilities, and enhanced cooperation. That is why the European Union is supporting the fight against COVID-19 outside its borders. In Lebanon, we are working towards strengthening the healthcare system and supporting the country’s socio-economic recovery.
The European Union remains the biggest donor in the health sector in Lebanon, with a volume of cooperation amounting to 86 million Euros. In the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, these funds are reoriented to ensure the continuity of critical healthcare, to raise awareness and to finance the purchase of protective equipment and hygiene items. “We have decided to step up our support to WHO, UNICEF, the Lebanese Red Cross and others, based on the National Response Plan and the UN emergency plan”, said European Union Ambassador Ralph Tarraf.
In addition, the European Union has released a package of assistance of 168 million Euros in March to support social assistance, education and child protection. “With this, we support vulnerable families and hope to contribute to the establishment of a sustainable social assistance system”, said Ambassador Tarraf. “Our support goes to all people who need it, to Lebanese citizens as well as to Syrian and Palestine refugees”.
The European Union is also contributing to the Trade Financing Mechanisms of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. This support will facilitate the imports of essential goods such as medicine, medical equipment, fuel, food products and raw materials.