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Covid-19: EU pledges $108mln to strengthen response plan in the Sahel

Thursday, 12 November 2020 17:08
Covid-19: EU pledges $108mln to strengthen response plan in the Sahel

(Ecofin Agency) - The European Union announced the disbursement of $108 million to strengthen the Covid-19 response plan in four Sahelian countries, namely Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Mauritania.

In an official statement, the institution said the money will help the governments offer better healthcare services to their citizens and reduce the social and economic repercussions of the pandemic.

In detail, Niger will receive $44.8 million, higher than the $30 million for Burkina Faso, $20 million for Chad, and $10 million for Mauritania. Through its budget aid, the EU wants to help the targeted countries implement their pandemic response plans, while preserving the fiscal space needed to continue key reforms in other sectors, and without increasing their debt levels.

While the region is already facing a humanitarian and security crisis that is difficult to manage, the covid-19 pandemic represents an additional challenge for Sahelian countries. The latter called on donors to scale up their assistance. According to the latest assessment of the African Union, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Mauritania have more than 13,285 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

"Today, we reiterate our commitment to strengthen our mobilization for the Sahel in its fight against the pandemic. Beyond a short-term response aimed at meeting the urgent needs of the populations, our objective is also to reduce the economic and social impact of the pandemic, from which Africa in general and the Sahel, in particular, are likely to suffer disproportionately," said EU High Representative Josep Borrell (pictured).

Moutiou Adjibi Nourou

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