By Bode Olushegun
European Union has donated €1.2 million to the ongoing battle against COVID-19 in Nigeria.
A statement by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday said the money was donated through the United Nations in Nigeria.
The statement read: “As the number of cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria continues to increase, along with concerns around the need to drastically scale-up public health preparedness and response, the United Nations (UN) today (Monday) announced that it received EUR 1.2 million from the European Union for the provision of lifesaving preparedness and response activities for COVID-19 in Nigeria.
“The humanitarian funding received will further the UN’s COVID-19 response in Nigeria, by engaging with communities on how to best protect themselves from the virus and providing essential health supplies where they are needed most.”
The statement quoting Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, said: “With these critical funds from the EU, the UN as a whole in Nigeria is in a better position to do the important work of engaging with communities on how they can prevent the spread of this 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.”
Also quoting Thomas Conan, Head of the EU’s Humanitarian Aid Office in Nigeria, the statement 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 (116 billion NGN) in emergency food aid, shelter, access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation, and basic primary healthcare since 2014.”
The statement added that with EU funding, UNICEF would be contributing to the efforts underway in the country to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate its effects.
It stated further that thd fund would help with the 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.
It reminded that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, and global health leaders around the world, were advising that physical distancing, washing of hands on a regular basis and staying at home would help significantly to halt the progress of the virus.