ABUJA, NIGERIA, 31 July 2020: As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds in Nigeria, the need for essential medical supplies increases with the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases. The European Union Delegation and the United Nations in Nigeria handed over the second consignment of +270 cubic meters of medical supplies to the Government of Nigeria.
The second consignment, which is part of the US$ 22 million procurement of essential medical supplies for the COVID-19 response, approved by the EU and endorsed by the Nigeria/One-UN COVID-19 Basket Fund Board arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Sunday, 26 July 2020. The over 270 CBM shipment consists of thousands of PPEs and hundreds of other medical supplies that will aid the provision of adequate healthcare for those affected by the virus.
In addition, the Government also received vital laboratory supplies and testing kits aimed at increasing the testing capacity and early detection of those affected by the virus across the country. The laboratory supplies and testing kits were procured through a supplementary budget – to help strengthen the One UN Nigeria response – funded by ECHO/EU.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, the Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the EU Delegation Mr. Alexandre Borges Gomes emphasised that the EU continues to support the Government of Nigeria in its efforts to address the health impact and socio-economic challenges of the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic must be fought in solidarity globally, ensuring the people most at risk are not left behind. The continued EU support to Nigeria translates into enhanced delivery of healthcare services to those affected by the pandemic and protection of frontline health workers. The assistance will also help the Government to tackle the socio-economic aspect of the crisis, including the safeguarding of livelihoods of the most vulnerable.” He added.
The coalition of partners in support of the Government of Nigeria through One UN COVID-19 response reflects the UN support to an inclusive and nationally owned COVID-19 response through a shared vision and a common strategy. The purpose of the Basket Fund is to coordinate and align the UN's efforts as well as leverage partnerships, to increase the availability, accessibility and affordability of COVID-19 response services in Nigeria.
The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Edward Kallon while acknowledging support to the Government of Nigeria from the EU and other partners through the One UN COVID-19 response pointed out that, global solidarity is not only a moral imperative but is the only way to reduce the impact of the crisis. “It is in everyone’s interests that we defeat the COVID-19 pandemic together. The UN system is here supporting the people of Nigeria and will continue to collaborate with partners and the Government during this time of crisis and through the recovery process.”
Mr. Kallon also called on the people of Nigeria to lead and own the fight against COVID 19 by complying with preventive measures of hand washing, wearing of masks and social distancing. He emphasised that state authorities must lead by example and hold institutions and organisations accountable, to ensure compliance.
"The One UN COVID-19 response is an excellent example of international cooperation and collaboration in a time of crisis. While we are proactively addressing the impact of coronavirus in Nigeria, we are yet to conquer the COVID-19 pandemic. Through collaborative interventions, we continue to learn how to protect the vulnerable and rebuild our health sector better." said, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Honorable Minister of Health, Nigeria.
The One UN COVID-19 response Basket Fund managed by UNDP also aims to further strengthen Nigeria’s response and the management of the crisis, through socio-economic analytics and, proactive early recovery and social protection interventions, targeting the poorest and most vulnerable groups.
Notes to the Editors:
On April 6 2020, the UN, in collaboration with the Government of Nigeria, launched the One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund. The Basket Fund serves as the One COVID-19 Financing and Investment Platform, through which different stakeholders (including UN, other multilateral and bilateral donors, as well as private sector donors, foundations and philanthropists) can channel their financial support to the multi-sectoral efforts of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Response.
As of July 2020, the One UN COVID-19 response Basket Fund, managed by UNDP had mobilised US$63.8 million, including US$54.6 million from the European Union (EU); US$2.2 million from UN agencies; $US4 million from the private sector (Dangote US$ 3.8 million and AP Maersk US$ 0.2 million); US$0.4 million from the Government of Switzerland; US$ 1 million from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; US$ 400,000MacArthur Foundation; US$ 1,050,000 from Government of Norway.
As of June 2020, the Project Board had allocated US$ 42,767,450.16 for response interventions to be undertaken by Participating UN Organizations (PUNOs) covering the following areas: Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE); Strengthening State level Operational Capacity in Surveillance, Infection Prevention, and Control; Building Capacity of Healthcare Workers in Case Management and strengthening hospital capacities to respond; and, engagement with Civil Society Organisations to reverse the negative impact of COVID-19 on equal access to essential health services.
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