The European Union has granted another EUR 6.5 million (USD 7.33 million) to step up the COVID-19 response in Zimbabwe. The funds are a top-up for the EU’s existing support to the multi-donor Health Development Fund (HDF).
The additional support will contribute to the supply of essentials commodities (PPE, diagnostic tests among others). Additionally, training of all frontline health workers will be conducted as well as for community health workers on Infection Prevention and Case Management. As part of the preventive measures, the grant will assist in developing innovative communication tools to maintain a high level of alert in the country. Finally, the funds will contribute to better coordination among all partners supporting the health sector with the guidance of the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC).
Announcing the additional grant, EU Ambassador Timo Olkkonen said: “A global health threat needs a global response with timely and coordinated measures and solidarity. In view of the current rising epi curve which shows daily new COVID-19 positive cases, this timely support is appropriate for improving ongoing activities, which are part of an urgent response to shared priorities. The EU will continue supporting the people of Zimbabwe, monitoring the work of our trusted partner UNICEF to ensure the needs of the most vulnerable are met. We trust this will contribute to mitigating at medium terms, part of the triple crisis of socio-economic challenges, drought, and COVID-19 that Zimbabwe is currently facing.”
In support of the National COVID-19 Response plan, Health Development Fund (HDF) funding partners (DFID, Irish Aid, SIDA, GAVI, EU) had already contributed to the immediate response in order to reinforce the basic and critical health services at all levels of care as well as using flexible procedures to support the early national response in March/April 2020.
Support to the Health sector is one of the key support areas of the European Union in Zimbabwe under the 11th European Development Fund. Since 2016, the EU has provided over 108.26 million EUR (about USD 122.23 million) to the HDF and is one of the biggest donors to the sector.