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) has 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.
“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,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.
“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,” said Thomas Conan, Head of the EU’s Humanitarian Aid Office in Nigeria.
With EU funding, UNICEF will be contributing to the efforts underway in the country to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate its effects. It will 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.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, and global health leaders around the world, are advising that physical distancing, washing of hands on a regular basis and staying at home will help significantly to halt the progress of the virus.