Half of Team’s Europe global recovery package to help partners address the COVID-19 pandemic, which has increased to €38.5 billion, has already been disbursed, showing the EU is delivering on its commitments. The package, combining resources from the EU, its Member States, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, is supporting emergency needs linked to the pandemic, crucial health services, economic recovery and social support measures, for the short and long term.
High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell, commented: “The European Union has proven to be a reliable partner in tackling the COVID-19 crisis globally. From vulnerable people to small businesses, many around the world have already benefited from our joint Team Europe commitment. We have shown that cooperation and partnerships are crucial for a global recovery and that only a collective action will allow us to build a better post-COVID world.”
Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, stated: “Today we have reached a new milestone in Team Europe’s collective response, which now stands at €38.5 billion, to pave the way for a sustainable recovery. It shows that we act stronger together, in a more efficient and coherent way, to deliver our commitments and address better the needs of our partners. We are building a global response to create sustainable opportunities for people now and in future years and build more inclusive and resilient societies.”
Team Europe delivery and future
Team Europe action combining resources from the EU, its Member States, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, is making a difference in three key areas: emergency response to humanitarian needs; strengthening health, water and sanitation; addressing the social and economic consequences of the crisis.
EU Member States agreed in June to establish a joint monitoring system to track the progress in the commitments made in the framework of the Team Europe’s global response to COVID-19. In the six months between April and October 2020, almost 50% of the commitments has been disbursed.
On the emergency response to humanitarian needs, Team Europe has delivered over 80% of funding, a total of €2.86 billion spent of €3.49 billion committed. Amongst others actions, in Botswana, Team Europe together with Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Botswana Red Cross Society, handed over Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical supplies: including 40,000 surgical masks and 6,250 respiratory N95 masks, infrared thermometers, disinfectants and sanitizers.
Other examples of the emergency response are in the Eastern Partnership countries, where the EU delivered over 11 million personal protective equipment items, medical equipment supplies and diagnostic tests to frontline health workers. From this total, Ukraine received more than 1 million pieces of personal protective items, enhanced tests for covid-19 laboratories and training for healthcare professionals. In the Western Balkans, the EU provided 10 million pieces of Personal Protective equipment, more than 80.000 COVID tests, 300 ventilators, ambulances, and ICU monitoring equipment. The EU Humanitarian Air Bridge facilitated 68 flights to 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas, delivering more than 1,115 tons of vital medical and humanitarian equipment and 1,700 medical and humanitarian staff and other passengers transported.
With regards health, water and sanitation, Team Europe has deployed around 40% of funding to ensure life-protecting equipment and services, a total €3.11 billion spent of €8.37 billion committed. For example, Team Europe is supporting health recovery in Burkina Faso, where the EU’s budget support helps finance health facilities and preserve essential public services to the populations most affected by the crisis. In Bangladesh, the Team Europe package supports vulnerable Bangladeshi host communities and Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar with health, nutrition, water and sanitation actions. Other actions by Team Europe include: supporting agricultural response plans in Sierra Leone and Togo, supporting agribusinesses in Armenia and Moldova, and actions to tackle the increased risk of food insecurity and malnutrition due to the pandemic’s impact on livelihoods, food systems and supply chains.
Moreover, on recovery from the social and economic consequences of the crisis, Team Europe has released already half the funding, a total €13.26 billion spent of €26.63 billion committed. Examples include providing urgent budget support to Ghana to allow fiscal space for provision of basic services like education and health, supporting micro/small businesses through loans in the Western Balkans and the Neighbourhood countries; using existing small-medium enterprises (SME) support programmes in Honduras; and through support to employment in the SME sector in South Africa. Actions have also focused on supporting social protection systems to protect the most vulnerable in society, such as in Malawi and Gambia through a social cash transfer programme, or in Timor Leste through a focus on strengthening public service delivery.
Work is also underway to establish future Team Europe Initiatives, which will be large-scale projects that can bring transformative impact in partner countries, including under the envisaged Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI). Team Europe members are closely coordinating, and will jointly design, implement and monitor Team Europe Initiatives in an inclusive manner in the next programming cycle.