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Coronavirus: The European Union stands by the Republic of Moldova

Brussels, 30/03/2020 - 15:52, UNIQUE ID: 200330_14
Press releases

As part of its global response to the coronavirus outbreak, the European Commission stands by Eastern Partner countries and has reallocated €140 million for the most immediate needs including the Republic of Moldova. In addition, the Commission will also redirect the use of existing instruments worth up to €700 million across the region to help mitigate socio-economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Olivér Várhelyi said:”These are very difficult times not only for the EU, but for our partner countries, such as Moldova, as well. We have to do what we can to mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on human lives and livelihoods. Today’s package responds both to the immediate needs of the health systems, as well as a longer term needs to the most vulnerable groups in society and small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the backbone of the economies in the six countries”. 

Responding to immediate needs:

Support to Moldova’s health system: At the request of the partner countries, including Moldova, the European Commission will respond to immediate needs by supporting the supply of medical devices and personal equipment, such as ventilators, laboratory kits, masks, goggles, gowns, and safety suits. The European Commission is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO), and is deploying €30 million to ensure these necessary supplies are jointly purchased and effectively distributed to the health systems of the six countries in the coming weeks. In addition, the funds will support national health administrations to train medical and laboratory staff and carry out awareness raising measures to the wider population. Current EU-funded projects in Moldova are already working to provide protection sets such as gloves and masks for vulnerable people and medical personnel in Moldova but also sterilizers for equipment and many more.

Support to the people who are most affected by the crisis, together with civic partners. The EU has made available more than €11.3 million in small grants to civil society organisations across the region. These funds are already responding to immediate needs, through the ongoing regional “Rapid Response Mechanism”, such as supporting local schools with distance learning. By the summer, and as part this package, the Commission will the launch of the “Eastern Partnership Solidarity Programme” which will target the most affected parts of the populations through civil society support and notably sub-grants to smaller, local organisations. This is in addition to the already ongoing support through the EU Civil Society Facility for Moldova that is already providing €20 million free of charge to create social services for the most vulnerable members of the society in Moldova and supporting people with special needs to start their own business in Moldova.

 

Mitigating socio-economic impact of the outbreak:Support to Moldova’s economy, notably small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) The EU is working closely with International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and relevant financing institutions from EU Member States as TEAM EUROPE providing a coordinated European response for the real economy, including SMEs, in particular through:

  • Launching of a new regional support programme of €100 million to help SMEs, including self-employed and others to easily access credit and boost their businesses after the crisis.
  • Facilitating, simplifying, accelerating, and reinforcing €200 million worth of existing credit lines and grants to SMEs in local currency including through its EU4Business Initiative;
  • The EU will soon launch a new ICT Innovation Centre in the city of Cahul and provide grants to innovative start-ups. These initiatives will complement the existing €5 million grant scheme and business development services for Moldovan SMEs which continues being there for Moldovan businesses during the crisis.
  • In addition, in the current crisis the EU has mobilised its major de-risking instrument worth €500 million, the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD). This will rapidly provide liquidly and can be urgently deployed by IFI partners to facilitate the provision of liquidity in the EU’s Neighbourhood including through working capital, trade finance, or moratoria on debt service.

In addition, the EU has ongoing macro financial assistance programmes with partners, including Moldova. A contribution to the state budget could be made available as soon as specific jointly agreed actions have been implemented.

The Commission also stands ready to provide assistance to Moldova through TAIEX, its peer to peer instrument, by using EU Member States expertise, experience and examples of good practice on assessing emergency preparedness response scheme and health systems.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has accelerated spread of myths and disinformation around it– coming from various sources both within and outside of the European Union. Learn more in the report on Disinformation on the coronavirus.

Information on the European Commission’s coordination of a common European response to the outbreak of COVID-19 click here.

For more Information:

Press release – EU support to Eastern Partners in Coronavirus pandemic

Factsheet - EU’s support to Eastern Partnership in Coronavirus pandemic

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