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Food is the essence of life and yet it is something that we may take for granted. The COVID-19 global health crisis has made us rethink the things we truly cherish and our most basic needs. One of these is food. Preserving access to safe and nutritious food is an essential part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for poor and vulnerable communities, hit hardest by the pandemic. The EU is committed to tackle global hunger and contribute to the accomplishment of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 2: ZERO HUNGER

The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of controlling the risks that they face. Good disaster risk governance can be measured in lives saved, reduced numbers of disaster-affected people and reduced economic losses. Both COVID-19 and the climate emergency are telling us that we need a clear vision and action based on scientific evidence for the public good.

Today, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, launched and co-hosted the first meeting of the High Level Facilitation Council, leading the work of the global collaborative framework Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (the ACT-A) to speed up the development and deployment of vaccines, tests and treatments against COVID-19, as well as to improve health systems.

The European Commission has today concluded exploratory talks with BioNTech-Pfizer to purchase a potential vaccine against COVID-19. BioNTech-Pfizer is the sixth company with which the Commission has concluded talks, following Sanofi-GSK on 31 July, Johnson & Johnson on 13 August, CureVac on 18 August and Moderna on 24 August. The first contract, signed with AstraZeneca, entered into force on 27 August.

The ‘Global Goal: Unite For Our Future' campaign launched by the Commission and the international advocacy organisation Global Citizen on 28 May will culminate in a global pledging summit and concert on Saturday 27 June. The aim is to mobilise additional funding to develop and deploy coronavirus vaccines, tests and treatments. Access to vaccines everywhere, for everyone who needs them, will enable the world to overcome this pandemic and avoid another.It will also help rebuild communities impacted by the pandemic in a fair and just way.

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Relations between the European Union and Armenia are based on the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), a modern, ambitious Agreement, which was signed on 24 November 2017 in the margins of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels and entered into provisional application on 1 June 2018. This Agreement provides a framework for Armenia and the EU to work together for the benefit of the citizens of Armenia in the areas of strengthening democracy and human rights, creating
more jobs and business opportunities, fairer rules, more safety and security, cleaner environment as well as better education and opportunities for research.

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The European Union’s relations with Azerbaijan are based on the EU-Azerbaijan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in force since 1999. In February 2017, the EU and Azerbaijan began negotiations on a new framework agreement designed to enhance the political dialogue, trade and mutually beneficial cooperation. Azerbaijan is a strategic energy partner for the EU and plays a pivotal role in bringing Caspian energy resources to the EU market. In 2018, the EU and Azerbaijan endorsed joint Partnership Priorities, along the four Eastern Partnership priorities that guide our political dialogue and cooperation.

Today the European Commission announced an additional €50 million in humanitarian aid to help respond to the dramatic increase in humanitarian needs caused by the Coronavirus pandemic globally. The new funding follows increased appeals by humanitarian organisations, including the UN Global Appeal.

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“The coronavirus pandemic is impacting every country and region of the world and every aspect of our lives. The pandemic and its socio-economic consequences are having a disproportionate impact on the rights of persons with disabilities such as in terms of equal access to health care, support services, and education.

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