“We have felt we are not alone, and whenever we call, we get a helping hand” – the voice of a health care worker in the Republic of Moldova, which reflects the experience of thousands across the Eastern Partnership who have benefited from the solidarity delivered by the European Union and the World Health Organization, as part of the EU’s more than €2.5 billion support package for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine in tackling the coronavirus health crisis, and supporting socio-economic recovery.
For the EU and the WHO, solidarity means working together to keep COVID-19 frontline carers safe through the Solidarity for Health initiative, which has seen over 13 million items of personal protective equipment distributed to health workers, as well as other equipment and training needed to help people recover from COVID-19.
It also means support for the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines through the donation of vaccine freezers and refrigerators and the training of health care workers, and to facilitate COVID-19 vaccination uptake. For example, in Ukraine the EU and the WHO have provided buses for residents in rural areas to reach vaccination points, ensuring that those who have reduced mobility, live remotely or who are older have access to COVID-19 vaccines, while in Georgia they have mobilised 900 community leaders, including 400 religious leaders, to build support for vaccination.
EU support also comes in the form of vaccine sharing, with more than 10 million vaccine doses donated to the EU’s Eastern partner countries via COVAX or directly through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism by mid-November 2021. This week, the EU announced a new €35 million arrangement with Poland to support member states in the delivery of vaccines to the Eastern partner countries.
At the same time, the EU supports socio-economic recovery with hundreds of millions of euros to help SMEs access credit to keep their businesses afloat and rebuild after the crisis, while also supporting the most vulnerable in society with actions such as supporting local schools with distance learning, helping women who have lost their jobs, or providing food supplies to the elderly and the disabled.
Find out more about solidarity in action, and how the European Union and the World Health Organization are helping to tackle COVID-19 in the Eastern Partnership
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This website is managed by the EU-funded Regional Communication Programme for the Eastern Neighbourhood ('EU NEIGHBOURS east’), which complements and supports the communication of the Delegations of the European Union in the Eastern partner countries, and works under the guidance of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and the European External Action Service. EU NEIGHBOURS east is implemented by a B&S Europe-led consortium. It is part of the larger Neighbourhood Communication Programme (2020-2024) for the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, which also includes 'EU NEIGHBOURS south’ project that runs the EU Neighbours portal.