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EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, has announced €61 million of new support in response to the Ebola crisis in the affected countries of West Africa, during a visit to Guinea. This will include direct support to the governments of Guinea and Liberia to help them cushion the impact of the economic effects of the outbreak, as well as measures to address security issues in affected countries. In addition, existing health and awareness programmes will be refocused to specifically tackle the challenge of Ebola. Commissioner Mimica also launched the overall EU funding for Guinea for the years 2014- 2020.
Commissioner Mimica commented: “Our new pledge will help the countries affected by Ebola to better deal with the multiple challenges that arise from this crisis. The EU stands firmly side by side with the people of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone; both in overcoming Ebola, as well as over the medium and long term. We need to make sure that the countries can quickly recover from this crisis and get back on a path of sustainable development.”
He added: “With the overall support for Guinea that we have now launched up to 2020, we will respond to the important needs of the people. Reinforcing the health system is an absolute priority but we also need to address development needs on a broader scale.”
During his visit to Guinea (5-7th December), the Commissioner met President Alpha Condé, met Foreign Affairs Minister, François Lounceny Fall, and Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohamed Diare. Discussions with government representatives covered, among other topics, the country’s needs arising from the Ebola crisis, as well as its longer term development. The Commissioner also visited sanitation and health projects.
The joint signature of Commissioner Mimica of the National Indicative Programme (NIP) for Guinea with Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohamed Diare, paved the way for overall EU funding from the so-called 11th European Development Fund (EDF) for the period 2014-2020. EU cooperation during this period will amount to €244 million, focusing on health, urban sanitation and the rule of law. The signature reaffirms the EU’s commitment, beyond Ebola, to contributing to the eradication of the root causes of the country’s fragility, which allowed the epidemic to take hold and spread.
The new Ebola pledge of development support contains the following elements:
- Budget support for Guinea (€11million) and Liberia (€14 million) to help cushion the economic effects of the outbreak
- Redirecting a health project launched in late 2013 in Guinea (€20 million) to address the Ebola crisis. Activities include improving access to quality basic health services in Forestry Guinea, one of the areas particularly affected by Ebola. Health facilities are supported, among other activities, through the training of health workers as well as the rehabilitation of facilities and equipment.
- Ebola preparedness support (€11 million) in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Togo, Ivory Coast, Mauretania
- Measures to prevent violence and reduce and mitigate tensions that may arise from the outbreak in border areas of the affected countries (€4.5 million).
The EU’s overall Ebola response
To ensure an efficient and coherent EU response as part of the larger international action, the European Council appointed Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Christos Stylianides, the EU’s Ebola Coordinator. The EU’s total financial contribution to fight the epidemic is over €1.1 billion. This includes funding from the Member States and the European Commission. The Commission has given more than €434 million to fight the disease – covering emergency measures and longer-term support.
These funds contribute to epidemic surveillance, diagnostics, treatment and medical supplies; they enable deployment of doctors and nurses and training of health workers; they raise awareness about the disease among the population and promote safe burials; they support the preparedness of other countries in the region and they aim to help stabilise the affected countries and assist them in their recovery.
A fact sheet on development cooperation support for the medium and long term in response to Ebola can be found at: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-2463_en.htm
More information on the EU’s overall response to Ebola can be found at: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-2464_en.htm
National Indicative Programmes
NIPs represent an important step in the programming of EU aid under the EDF, which covers development cooperation of the EU with 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.
NIPs are prepared in close cooperation with the partner country so as to ensure that they support national priorities where the EU has an added value. They are based on the government’s own policies and strategies reflecting its analysis of needs. At the same time they are in line with the EU’s vision for future development cooperation, the “Agenda for Change”, which calls for resources to be targeted where they are most needed and can be the most effective.