Development Cooperation

One year supporting partner countries' efforts in tackling the Coronavirus pandemic

12/04/2021 - 10:25
News stories

One year ago, the European Commission and the High Representative set out plans for a targeted EU response to support partner countries' efforts in tackling the Coronavirus pandemic combining resources from the EU, its Member States and European financial institutions, as ‘Team Europe'. By 1 January 2021, Team Europe had already supported over 130 partner countries around the world with more than €26 billion.


Team Europe is also working to ensure global, equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and supporting the rollout of vaccination campaigns, while exploring possibilities for boosting local manufacturing capacity. 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.

The collective global support focuses on three main strands of action:

1) Emergency response and immediate humanitarian needs

In 2020, Team Europe spent €3.2 billion in support of the emergency response to humanitarian needs, amongst others, on:

  • Supplying more than 11.3 million pieces of protective equipment and medical equipment such as ventilators, ICU beds, patient triage containers, ambulances and 30,000 smaller medical devices in the Western Balkans. Emergency support also provided more than 80,000 COVID tests, material to calibrate another 580,000 tests and 25,000 litres of disinfectant.
  • Providing through the EU and WHO Solidarity for Health Initiative in the Eastern Neighbourhood substantial medical supplies, including over 11 million items of personal protective equipment, 12,000 lab kits, over 1,500 ventilators, oxygen concentrators and pulse oximeters, and over 20,000 PCR testing kits.

2) Strengthening health, water, sanitation and nutrition systems

In 2020, Team Europe spent €3.5 billion on strengthening of health, water and sanitation systems, amongst others, on:

  • Funding specific coronavirus actions on health, water and sanitation in Jordan and Lebanon through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis.
  • Supporting a regional disaster preparedness operation in Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam. Complementing government efforts to support households affected by COVID-19, this innovative operation has reached households that have been left behind or excluded from governmental programmes and at risk of compounded shocks.

3) Mitigating the social and economic consequences of the pandemic

In 2020, Team Europe spent €19.5 billion on mitigating the social and economic consequences of the pandemic, amongst others, on:

  • Providing credit lines and grants in local currency through the EU4Business Initiative and grants for agricultural and rural development in Armenia and Georgia, as part of the overall support to limit the social and economic impact on SMEs in the Eastern Partnership.
  • Addressing the economic and social consequences of the pandemic in the Central African region, through EU budget support payments in Cameroon, Central African Republic and Sao Tome e Principe, through projects of food security in Congo and Malawi, and through job creation and youth empowerment in Cameroon and Gabon.

Building on the success of the Team Europe approach, the EU and its Member States have agreed to step it up by jointly designing, funding and implementing Team Europe Initiatives. In the next programming cycle, these will be transformational projects for our partner countries and will focus on major priority areas of the EU in line with partner countries' needs.


The ‘Team Europe' package was launched on 8 April 2020 to support EU partner countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. The financial support initially pledged was for around €20 billion and combined resources from the EU, its Member States, and financial institutions, in particular the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

More information

Coronavirus: Team Europe continues to deliver with more than €26 billion disbursed in support to partner countries in one year (press release, 8 April 2021)

Team Europe webpage and figures


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