EU avails N$172 million for COVID-19 fight
In response to the President HE Dr Hage Geingob’s call for international stakeholders to support government’s response measures and mobilize resources to combat the further spread of the COVID-19, the European Union announced support measures this week.
The EU has availed budget funding of N$172 million, which is a grant funding without conditions linked to disbursement, to amongst others, strengthen the country’s health system and enhance resilient and responsive health and social protection systems. This will also include the purchasing of medical equipment and medical devices that are urgently required, as well as addressing some of the economic and social impact of the pandemic.
Furthermore and as part of an ongoing programme in support of education, with UNICEF as the implementing partner, contingency reserves of N$7.2 Million would be used to support children and their families, specifically those in communities that are hardest hit by the Covid-19 lockdown.
The aim is to reach approximately 350 Early Childhood Centres with an estimated 15,000 children registered.
The Covid-19 crisis has brought about new threats, demands and challenges to educators and learners. Moreover, Education systems and models need to gradually transform to move to online learning strategies. Education is a focal area of EU support to Namibia. The EU has mad a third and final grant payment of N$95 million grant to the Education Budget Support Programme recently.
This assistance is not directly related to the pandemic; however these are difficult times and government may utilize these resources to deal with the effects of the pandemic.
“The coronavirus pandemic requires united and strong international and local collaboration by all. The European Union is doing everything we can to support our citizens and our partner countries in their time of need to address the impact of this health crisis on lives and countries’ economy. We are working closely with EU member states, other development partners and the UN system to make sure our inputs are well coordinated for the pandemic and for the SDGs more generally,” said EU Ambassador to Namibia, Sinikka Antila.
Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation hailed the long-standing cooperation with the EU, which has continued to complement the government’s developmental efforts.
“Multilateralism dictates that all governments come together in the spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals in order to save lives. The areas of focus of the assistance of the EU speak to the current priorities of government. The government commends the dedicated efforts of the EU office in Windhoek and look forward to continue working with the EU Ambassador for mutual interests,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.