In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the European Commission has revised its traditional support programs, including those targeting Eastern Partnership countries, Katarína Mathernová, Deputy Director-General, European Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission said, Trend reports.
Mathernová made the statement during a press conference held in video-format.
She said that the corresponding decision was made in order to provide support relevant in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. She noted that in this regard, three ways of support were considered: firstly, humanitarian and medical assistance, secondly, institutional support to the medical organizations and healthcare in general, and thirdly, support for the economy and prevention of the economic crisis.
“We took measures early on. Thus, on April 8, 2020 we published a plan, within the framework of which it became possible to mobilize and redirect about 10 billion euros. In turn, for the countries of the Eastern Partnership, we managed to mobilize almost one billion euros, including through bilateral and regional financing, which was allocated through financial institutions,” she said.
Mathernová clarified that among the main support measures provided by the European Commission is the financial support of WHO in the amount of 30 million euros, which were directed not so much to solve all the problems that arose in the Eastern Partnership countries amid pandemic, but to asses and solve immediate problems like purchasing the necessary protective equipment in a centralized way.
“We have also allocated approximately 80 million euros for short-term humanitarian assistance, which has been directed both to WHO and to support the most vulnerable groups of society,” she said. Thus, Mathernová noted, one of the support measures provided by the European Commission in Azerbaijan was the provision of food packages to almost 500 families.
Talking the future of the Eastern Partnership, Mathernová reminded that on March 18 this year, the Joint Communication: Eastern Partnership policy beyond 2020: Reinforcing Resilience was approved, which has become very important and useful in the current conditions.
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