European Union External Action

Team Europe: One year supporting the global response to Coronavirus

08/04/2021 - 16:23
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One year ago, the world was still learning how to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and the European Union and its Member States recognised the need to provide global support as the only way to control the spread of the virus. ‘Team Europe’ was created to support partner countries’ efforts in tackling the pandemic, combining resources from the EU, its Member States and European financial institutions.


Today we mark the one-year anniversary of ‘Team Europe’. The original package of €20 billion pledged has doubled and, by the beginning of 2021, 65% of this amount had been allocated to support the most vulnerable communities in partner countries around the world.

The EU collaborates with global partners calling for a joint action until we can be sure that everyone is safe. The EU played a leading role in setting up the COVAX Facility, the global initiative that allows for high-income countries to fund vaccines for low and middle-income countries and where Team Europe is one of its leading donors, with over €2.2 billion.

Over 130 countries have benefitted from EU support. In 2020 alone, Team Europe spent €3.2 billion on emergency response to humanitarian needs, €3.5 billion on strengthening of health, water and sanitation systems and €19.5 billion on mitigating the social and economic consequences of the pandemic.

‘The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that an effective response to a global crisis requires a multilateral approach. Team Europe is a good example of how multilateralism should deliver to the benefit of all, leaving no one behind in the joint endeavour to overcome the pandemic.’

EU High Representative Josep Borrell

From May to October 2020, Team Europe successfully carried out 67 flights to 20 countries on four continents. It deployed 1,150 tonnes of essential medical and humanitarian supplies as well as medical and humanitarian staff.


The EU with Western Balkans together against COVID-19


European Union supports COVID-19 pandemic response in Libya


The EU programme ‘Protecting most vulnerable population from the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya’ provides coordinated support to Libyan authorities to respond to the pandemic in the country. Working in partnership with the IOM, the UNICEF and the WHO, the EU’s COVID-19 response programme is expected to reach 4.8 million people across Libya. Read the full story.



The EU and WHO deliver critical supplies to the COVID-19 frontline in Azerbaijan


A shipment of medical respirators and masks, protective goggles, face shields, and isolation gowns to help enable health-care workers in Azerbaijan to respond effectively and safely to the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the country on June 2020. Find out more.



Last year, Team Europe spent €3.5 billion on strengthening health, water and sanitation systems. This support translated into a concrete impact in populations’ lives:

Team Europe in Zimbabwe – working for better health outcomes for women and children


Team Europe is helping improve health outcomes for women and children in Zimbabwe through its support for the Health Development Fund. This multi-donor fund provides resources for maternal and children’s health and gender-based violence programmes. Read more.



Team Europe in Timor-Leste: supporting survivors of gender-based violence and helping the most vulnerable


On the surface, Timor-Leste did not seem too impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic: the figures of infected remained low and the number of casualties as well. However, isolation measures to tackle the spread of the virus placed many communities under stress. Read more about the EU support to gender-based violence victims in Timor-Leste here.


Team Europe responds to COVID-19 pandemic by supporting Jordan with €841 million

Team Europe Jordan


The European Union, its Member States and European financial institutions, in particular the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), have collectively provided Jordan with €841 million since March 2020 to date to support Jordan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The support provided under the Team Europe initiative targeted sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, including healthcare, economy, education, and social protection. Find out more.


Team Europe supports vulnerable households in Nigeria


Following up on the massively covered Team Europe announcement of €50 million for the Covid-19 response in Nigeria, food items and hand-washing equipment were distributed to vulnerable communities in and around Abuja. A total of 2,200 households most impacted by the crisis received relief packages. Read more.


The EU supports Cuba in its response to COVID-19

ue apoya cuba frente a covid19


Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Cuba, the EU has prepared a response package to support national efforts in combating the pandemic in the country. Work involved adapting ongoing cooperation projects and programmes, mainly in the areas of agriculture and climate change. Two new projects were launched and will be executed by civil society organisations. The EU is also taking part in the drawing of an action plan to support the country, which will be implemented by the Pan American Health Organisation. Find out more about the EU support in Cuba here.


Tracking coronavirus in West Africa and beyond

SORMAS Nigeria


In Nigeria, Elsi’s team has been using EU-backed SORMAS technology to track the spread of coronavirus. SORMAS stands for Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System. It is free to use and easy to set up. The software has been deployed in Nigeria and Ghana in cooperation with local authorities and health bodies, such as the Regional Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control. It lets healthcare workers around the country enter their findings into a shared database. Information about confirmed or suspected cases is then relayed back to analysts. Find out more.



In 2020, Team Europe spent €19.5 billion on mitigating the social and economic consequences of the pandemic. Here are some concrete examples of EU actions:

The EU proves to stand by the Western Balkans


The European Commission and the European Investment Bank will mobilise over €3.3 billion to benefit the citizens of the Western Balkans. This support will continue addressing the immediate health and resulting humanitarian needs of the COVID-19 pandemic and will help with the social and economic recovery of the region. Read the full story.


COVID-19 rapid response: EU creates €5 million emergency fund for Myanmar garment workers


The EU has created a €5 million emergency cash fund to assist thousands of garment workers who lost their jobs due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Read more.


The EU and its Member States have kept their commitment to leaving no one behind. At the end of last year, we started counting on vaccination to tackle the outbreak. But there is still much to be done. EU’s actions will continue to ensure assistance to our partner countries, and immediate support for those in need. For the EU, tackling the global pandemic means leaving no one behind.