European Union External Action

The European Union pledges 1 million EUR for COVID-19 in Timor-Leste through WHO

16/06/2021 - 04:50
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The European Union’s (EU) humanitarian aid arm, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) has committed 1,000,000 € (EUR) (USD $1,2 million) through World Health Organization (WHO) to strengthen COVID-19 response in Timor-Leste further

The 12-month long project will focus on specific areas of response. The primary goal is ‘strengthening COVID-19 case management across five referral hospitals in Timor-Leste and reducing morbidity and mortality associated with COVID-19 with better case management facilities in regional hospitals’. The five referral hospitals that will benefit are in Ainaro, Baucau, Bobonaro, Covalima, municipalities and the special economic zone of Oecusse-Ambeno municipality.

The project identifies gaps in the existing provisions and resources and aims to fill those gaps in the stipulated time. The gains that will be achieved in the cycle of the project will support the COVID-19 response and strengthen the health systems to provide better-quality care to the people of Timor-Leste.

“We are pleased by this new opportunity of the partnership between the MoH, WHO and E.U. and the scope of the project. This pandemic will be behind us sooner or later, but our goal is to not only deal with this pandemic but create a system that can deal and outlast any health emergency we have to face in the future,” said H.E. Minister of Health, Dr Odete Maria Freitas Belo.

One critical priority is strengthening the referral hospital’s capacity to manage moderate and severe acute COVID-19 cases by improving the infrastructure and human resource capacity building, including training in all referral hospitals.

“The E.U. is dedicated to mitigating the effects of the crisis within and beyond Europe’s borders. The people in need of humanitarian assistance worldwide are vulnerable, and it is our joint responsibility to protect them the best we can,” said Mr Andrew Jacobs, EU Ambassador to Timor-Leste. “E.U. and WHO have long-standing partnerships globally and also in Timor-Leste in different areas within the health sector, one of the largest and important ones among them is Universal Health Coverage (UHC), Mr Jacobs added further.

WHO has been actively supporting MOH across its various pillars in terms of COVID-19 response right from the start of the pandemic. It has been actively contributing to the MoH coordinated action plan against the pandemic by involving and partnering with various international agencies and countries and channelling all the support to the government and people of Timor Leste. It has also been actively contributing by helping the MoH build the necessary infrastructure, procure medical and oxygen supplies, biomedical equipment, and consumables, advocating and actively contributing to human resource training, deployment, and capacity building across all pillars of COVID-19 response.

“The funding from the E.U., ECHO provides us greater ability to support the MoH in COVID-19 response, which ranges from building infrastructure – if needed – to intensifying and scaling up the existing support, which we’re already providing. Moreover, the outcome of this collaboration is to build and create a health system that will be efficient and more resilient to deal with health emergencies and also provide overall better-quality care to the citizens of this country,” said Dr Arvind Mathur, WHO Representative to Timor-Leste.

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