Ambassador Robert van den Dool, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Sudan briefed the Sudanese press about the efforts of the European Union to confront the Corona Virus in Sudan.
Here are the following EU Ambassador remarks to the media:
1. To start, I would like to explain and clarify some EU pledged figures to avoid confusion by the Sudanese public. The European Union has launched a global response package on the COVID 19, called the Team Europe response. The EU pledged a total of 15.6 billion euro to support its partners all over the world in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, regional and international organizations. This 15.6 billion euro will address the immediate health crisis and resulting humanitarian needs in the most vulnerable partner countries around the world, as well as longer term and structural impact on their societies and economies.
2. From the overall package of 15.6 billion euro, 3.25 billion euro is channelled to Africa, and from that amount, 2.06 billion will go for sub-Saharan Africa and 1.19 billion euro for the Northern African neighbourhood countries. In addition, the overall package includes another 1.42 billion euro in guarantees for Africa and the neighbourhood from the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD). Also,
Africa will receive 25 million Euros, allocated by the European Union from the European Development Fund (EDF), to support the World Health Organisation in its immediate and short-term response to the coronavirus in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
3. Sudan will receive 80 million euro from the overall Covid response package of the Team Europe approach. The breakdown of the 80 million euro is as follows: First, 10 million euro will support programmes and projects of the World Health Organisation (WHO), which support the Sudanese people and government to increase awareness about the Corona Virus, training of cadres, improve testing, provide medical supplies, improve situation inside the quarantines and provide technical assistance. Second, an amount of 70 million euro will be allocated to the Family Support Programme of the government together with the World Bank, in order to cushion the hardships of the most vulnerable Sudanese populations.
4. The coronavirus pandemic is a worldwide crisis, which can only be solved at a global level. A strong European response in support of our partners is the only way to put an end to the spread of the virus and to avoid spill over effects on social stability and security in our partner countries. Africa is a priority for the EU. The pledged amounts are a re-allocation and acceleration from existing programmes to respond to the needs in Africa and Sudan. This means the total pledged amounts are not all new funds. It also includes funds of projects which will be closed, changed, re-allocated, revised and re-modified.
5. In social media and the newspapers many comments and articles have been circulating on the healthcare situation in the European Union and in particular in Spain and Italy. I would like to thank the Sudanese people who expressed concern, heart-felt solidarity, well wishes, and sympathy and expressed their words of support and encouragement. I would like to thank in particular the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the official communications on the situation in France, Spain and Italy. Those messages at moments of crisis are well appreciated and acknowledged and well received in Europe. We are all brothers and sisters in the fight against this global pandemic.
6. In conclusion, I would like stress that support by the government, a regional or international body can only help to overcome the crisis of the Corona Virus. The real effort has to come from the citizens, heeding the health recommendations and official instructions and staying at home and away from the congestion areas. I know this is a very difficult time of economic and health crisis, but with simple precautions people can stay safe and healthy. It is very important to understand that keeping a social distance is the biggest step to confront the corona virus. If the corona virus spreads in Sudan, the consequences will be critical and government and international assistance will be severely tested. These are challenging times, but if we work together as citizens, government and international community we will overcome this corona virus crisis. The EU will do all it can to stand by the Sudanese people, also in these extremely difficult times.