The coronavirus pandemic is a global crisis that requires a global solution. The EU is mobilising EUR 36 billion globally to end the spread of the virus and reduce its impact on economic and social stability in partner countries. The EU, its Members States and their financial institutions have also combined their resources to support India in the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
In the health sector, the European Investment Bank is set to contribute with a loan of EUR 300 million. The Bank is closely liaising with the Government of India and focusing on Emergency Pandemic Control Expenditures, as well as medium- to long-term investments to strengthen the Public Healthcare System to ensure early prevention, detection and containment of future pandemics. Germany’s crucial support of EUR 20 million, implemented through GIZ and in cooperation with the German state-owned development bank - Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and UNICEF, aims to equip hospitals with medical and protective equipment, respirators, build test capacities, train nursing staff and create infrastructure for meeting future challenges. Further, Germany’s support towards the Three Million Meals Campaign has helped provide food to those most in need. Agence Française de Développement (AFD), through its private sector arm, Proparco, has invested EUR 20 million to support the development of medical facilities in South and Southeast Asia. The European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments has redirected activities to organise COVID-19 webinars. A project on “Antimicrobial Resistance” (AMR) will reinforce preventive measures such as vaccinations and capacity building to maintain human and animal health.
In the area of social protection, to bolster the Indian government’s COVID-19 response, KfW and AFD will provide EUR 460 million and EUR 200 million, respectively. Co-financed with the World Bank, the funds will benefit vulnerable populations and ensure that the health, social and economic challenges associated with COVID-19 do not endanger people’s well-being.
The EU is also working with Civil Society Organisations and local communities in India to provide immediate assistance to vulnerable groups. More than 325,000 people have been provided with hygiene and sanitation kits. 13,450 families have been provided with food or dry ration while an additional 450,000 food packets have been distributed. 48,250 people have received awareness raising on COVID-19, and 10,000 farmers have received direct assistance in marketing their agricultural products.
As part of its global response, the EU continues to adjust its interventions at country level to assist India in its efforts to address the coronavirus outbreak.