From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The European Union has said $14. 5 million out of the €50 million promised to the Federal Government to assist in the roll out of COVID-19 vaccine would be released this week.
The Head of the EU Delegation to Nigeria, Ambassador Ketil Karsel, who addressed newsmen yesterday in Abuja, revealed that already €9 million grant had been released to boost the prevention and response to Coronavirus in Nigeria.
“The EU is taking the lead in supporting partner countries, including Nigeria, to tackle the tackle the COVID-19 pandemic by combining resources from the EU, its member states and European financial institutions, under the ‘Team Europe’ initiative.
“At the onset of the pandemic in Nigeria, the EU rapidly mobilised €50 million grant in humanitarian aid was given to Nigeria to boost prevention and response to Coronavirus in the country.
“The EU in Nigeria has availed the remaining 14 million USD unspent from the basket fund to support the rollout of vaccine in Nigeria,” he said.
He added that, “Team Europe is working to ensure global, equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and supporting the rollout of vaccine campaigns, while exploring possibilities for possibilities for boosting local manufacturing capacity.
“The EU played a leading role in setting up the COCAX Facility, the global initiative that allows for high income countries to fund vaccines for low and middle-income countries, with Team Europe as a leading donor, with over €2.2 billion. The contribution from Team Europe will Europe will help secure 1.3 billion doses of the vaccine for 92 low- income and middle income countries by the end of the year.’
On the party of insecurity, he said: “the EU is working with the Nigerian authorities to bring an end to the security challenges across the country.
“We are supporting government’s efforts to fight terrorism, radicalisation and violent extremism as well as the reform of the criminal justice system.”