COVID-19 affects us all. It does not care who we are, or where we are: everyone is at risk. As long as COVID-19 exists somewhere in the world, no one is safe.
The European Union, its Member States, and financial institutions, in particular the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, acting together as ‘Team Europe’, pool resources and expertise to jointly tackle the destructive impact of COVID-19. We are adapting our priorities and programmes with partner countries to meet their needs and respond in a quicker and more coherent manner.
In practice, we help:
- to halt the spread of COVID-19 by contributing to a fast and equitable access to safe, quality, effective and affordable tests, treatments and vaccines against coronavirus
- to strengthen partner countries' healthcare, water and sanitation systems
- to mitigate the immediate social and economic consequences of the crisis
Team Europe is mobilising about €46 billion in support of our partner countries.
Our efforts to guarantee equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines started early on. We hosted a pledging marathon, which raised a total of €15.9 billion to develop and deploy vaccines, tests and treatments. As a result, Team Europe’s support to the most promising manufacturers in both vaccine development and build-up of manufacturing capacity helped to speed up the process, which usually takes years, into less than one year.
We have together with our partners set up the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator initiative and the COVAX Facility, a global initiative bringing together governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines reach those most in need. Team Europe is investing over 3 billion to help secure 1.8 billion doses of vaccines for 92 low and middle-income countries.
Our support will continue. The EU has worked with its industrial partners to make vaccines available for low and middle-income countries in 2021 and 2022, and Member States are sharing their vaccines via COVAX. The EU will support partners with vaccination strategies and the distribution of supplies.
As Team Europe, we are also working on an initiative for manufacturing and access to vaccines, medicines and health technologies in Africa. It will help create vaccines manufacturing in Africa, including by supporting the set-up of regional manufacturing hubs. Other regions could be associated in the future.
- providing immediate support to the Response Plans of international organisations
- providing immediate humanitarian support in affected countries, in particular in health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and logistics
- increasing production in Europe of personal protective equipment and medical devices to meet urgent needs in Europe and in partner countries
- organising the supply of in-kind assistance to affected countries through the Union Civil Protection Mechanism
- providing guarantee and liquidity provisions to local banks via International Financial Institutions and European Development Finance Institutions, supported by the European Fund for Sustainable Development
- supporting global efforts to provide sufficient supply of essential goods, food and water, measures to combat export restrictions and ensure supply chains remain intact, notably for essential medical supplies and pharmaceuticals.
Supporting healthcare systems and the response to the pandemic in partner countries
What the EU is doing:
- strengthening the preparedness and response capacities of countries with fragile healthcare systems and providing critical medical supplies and equipment. This has been a successful approach in recent outbreaks of Ebola and Zika
- providing protective equipment for health workers in the most vulnerable countries, both directly and through the World Health Organization’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP)
- helping to train public health workers in epidemiological surveillance and the use of mobile labs
- strengthening regional epidemiological surveillance and disease control institutions in Africa (Africa CDC and its regional centres), the Caribbean (CARPHA) and the Pacific (SPC)
- supporting communication and awareness efforts on basic protective measures and hygiene advice to prevent the spread.
Budget support will allow governments to deliver essential services and loan guarantees to boost economic activity and safeguard livelihoods
What is the EU doing:
- re-orientating support to national governments via direct budget support and financing (on-going programmes in 90 countries and territories, including neighbourhood countries), to shore up the economy and allow governments to continue to deliver vital health services
- access to loans and guarantees, despite the crisis situation (see Guarantees and blending)
- supporting the private sector through loan guarantees, technical assistance and increased access to liquidity support, working capital and trade finance.
What EU businesses are doing:
- Stepping up local production of medical and protective equipment in developing countries
- Supporting governments in coordinating private and public sector response to COVID
- Providing reduced costs and free services such as internet connection services
- Targeting population groups and reaching out through social media to educate the general population on p- rotective measures
- Providing free standards to manufacture COVID related equipment and making financial contributions