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2020.03.31 11:30

EU pledges €140m to help Eastern Partnership members tackle coronavirus

Rikard Jozwiak, RFE/RL2020.03.31 11:30

The European Commission says it has reallocated more than 140 million euros to help Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on March 30, the commission said it would also “redirect the use of existing instruments” worth up to 700 million euros to help the six countries of the EU's Eastern Partnership programme mitigate the socioeconomic impact of the crisis.

“These are very difficult times not only for the EU, but for our partner countries as well,” Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi said.

The EU is “responding both to the immediate needs of the health systems, as well as longer term needs to the most vulnerable groups in society and small and medium-sized enterprises.”

The commission said it would support the supply of medical devices and personal protective equipment, such as ventilators, laboratory kits, masks, and goggles worth 30 million euros to the health systems of the six countries in the coming weeks.

The funds would also be used to support the training of medical and laboratory staff, as well as awareness-raising measures to the populations.

The redirected funds worth 700 million euros will be used mainly to provide liquidity in the six countries, including through “working capital, trade finance, or moratoria on debt service” and to help small and medium-sized enterprises access credit and boost their businesses after the crisis.

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