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EU Commission strengthens financial support for Eastern Partnership countries by Euro35 million to speed up vaccination

By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, August 12
The EU Commission has increased its assistance package from Euro40 million to Euro75 million ‘to deploy safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and speed up the vaccination campaigns’ in the six Eastern Partnership countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. The newly adopted programme is part of Team Europe's global COVID-19 response and is based on a partnership among the Member States, the EU cooperation, and the WHO.

According to the EU, the additional Euro35 million assistance package will increase access to vaccines in the Eastern Partnership region amid the global vaccine shortage.

“This assistance complements the EU's support to the COVAX initiative, the world's facility to ensure fair and universal access to COVID-19 vaccines, and work towards an equitable and transparent distribution of vaccines over the Eastern Partner countries,” EU reports.

The first package of support worth Euro40 million was launched in partnership with the World Health Organization in February to strengthen preparedness and local readiness for safe and effective vaccination of the population. The package provided substantial medical supplies across the region, including over 11 million items of personal protective equipment, 12,000 lab kits, over 1,500 ventilators, and over 20,000 PCR testing kits. The support included training of health managers and medical staff involved in the vaccination campaign, key logistical support for the delivery and management of the vaccines and supplies, vaccination data and safety monitoring, communication and community engagement, as well as support for the development of a digital COVID certificate.

“The EU is determined to support our Eastern neighbours to speed up vaccination as this will be decisive for ending the pandemic and launching the socio-economic recovery of the region. We care for our partners.” Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi stated.

Varhelyi visited Georgia in July and stated that “the EU stands by Georgia and its people, including in challenging times such as the fight against COVID-19 crisis. He announced that the European Union would allocate Euro3.9 billion to help Georgia improve transport and logistics connectivity.