BRUSSELS. The EU continues to work with Member States to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic on all fronts. Recently 500.000 additional coronavirus testing kits have been provided to the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
An EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight delivered the test kits and are part of a €10 million immediate support package to the African Union (AU) by the German Government in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Almost 1.4 million tests for the extraction and the detection of the virus will be made available to African Union countries.
“Through the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge, the European Commission continues to work hand in hand with Member States to support vulnerable countries amidst the coronavirus pandemic. It is in our common interest to tackle the pandemic worldwide. We are committed to ensuring effective delivery of essential medical equipment to the countries that need it the most. This specific consignment will be able to reach a large number of countries as it will support the African Union continental response,” said Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management.
Mr. Gerd Muller, Minister of Development Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Germany, said on the occasion: “We will either beat the coronavirus together worldwide or not at all. This is why we support the African Union through the German Epidemic Preparedness Team in a cooperation with the EU. Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention coordinate the procurement of life-saving testing equipment for AU member states. They also play an important role in educating African health workers. With our support to the partnership to accelerate coronavirus testing, we make sure that testing is made widely available. We stand by our friends in Africa in the fight against the coronavirus.”
“Partnership is key to winning the battle against COVID-19 locally and globally because no country can manage the pandemic alone. That is why as a continental body, Africa CDC is working with several partners and exploring all markets to unlock the supply chain system for diagnostics and medical supplies for African Union Member States, and we are delighted to see the Government of Germany and the European Union coming out strongly to support our initiatives,” said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC.
The kits delivery is part of the larger Team Europe support to the African continental response to the coronavirus. In June, Team Europe provided €10 million to facilitate the implementation of the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for the coronavirus outbreak, supporting in-country health care workers, rapid responders for surveillance, laboratory and case management and the strengthening of the Africa Continental Taskforce for Coronavirus.