Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The United Nations (UN) on Tuesday announced that it received €1.2 million from the European Union (EU) for the provision of lifesaving preparedness and response activities for COVID-19 in Nigeria.
It said the humanitarian funding will further the UN’s COVID-19 response in Nigeria, by engaging with communities on how to best protect themselves from the virus, providing essential health supplies where they are needed most.
UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria Peter Hawkins, who disclosed the information in a statement released in Abuja on Tuesday, said, “with these critical funds from the EU, the UN agencies in Nigeria has been positioned to do the important work of engaging with communities on how they can prevent the spread of the virus, and also complement the government’s efforts to ensure that healthcare workers can continue the critical work they are already doing to test and treat cases in the country.”
With EU funding, UNICEF said it will contribute to the efforts underway in the country to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate its effects.
It also promised to help with emergency response to identified cases, as well as prevention and preparedness measures for possible future outbreaks in crowded cities and camps for internally displaced people in Nigeria’s north-east region.
Head of the EU’s Humanitarian Aid Office in Nigeria Thomas Conan said: “In these trying times, the European Union is maintaining its humanitarian support to the most vulnerable people in Nigeria, where we have funded close to €271.5 million (N116 billion) in emergency food aid, shelter, access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation, and basic primary healthcare since 2014.”
He encouraged Nigerians to follow the advice of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other global health leaders, particularly on social and physical distancing, regular hand washing and staying at home, saying that it will help significantly to halt the progress of the virus.