The European Union, EU, has joined Nigeria’s quest to put a stop to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country with €50m donation on Tuesday in Abuja.
EU’s Ambassador, Kelti Karlsen, described the fund, an equivalent of N21 billion, as the largest single contribution and support that the EU is providing anywhere outside the continent of Europe.
Further speaking of the donation, Kelti Karlsen, said that the donation was a response to Nigeria’s call for aid and a demonstration of the EU’s partnership with Nigeria.
We heard your call for assistance and the EU has reacted swiftly as a demonstration of our true partnership.
According to a statement by the president’s media adviser, Femi Adesina, the EU Ambassador congratulated President Buhari for ‘‘a very powerful address to the nation last night,’’ while also stating that ‘‘indeed, the current situation is no joke and we wish to commend you for taking bold and necessary measures.’’
Reacting to the donation, President Buhari said that it would go a long way in supporting Nigeria’s resolve to arrest the virus and also reposition the nation’s health care systems, while also ruing the number of lives lost in EU countries due to the virus.
President Buhari said:
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and communities impacted. We are confident from history that the resilience of Europe and our global collective will enable us to emerge stronger from this tragedy.
Although the EU is facing significant challenges due to this pandemic, I am indeed touched and grateful that the European Union still had the vision and foresight to remember its friends, partners and allies across the world,’’ he said.
The president was also said to have told the ambassador that the huge sum would help to save millions of lives and both Nigeria and Africa would remain grateful in several years to come.
Indeed, this brotherly support will save millions of lives. Nigeria, Africa and many beneficiary countries across the world will remain grateful for generations to come,’’ he said.
The statement added President Buhari provide the delegation with the update on the fight against COVID-19 in the country, assuring that Nigeria was united in the battle.
So far, the number of confirmed cases in Nigeria is 343. Our efforts as a Government have focused on controlling and containing the virus to prevent community spread.
I want to assure you that in this fight, Nigerians are united and by the grace of God and the continued support from our partners, we shall succeed,’’ he said.
The donation is coming at a time when Nigerians are calling on to lighten their burden by providing palliatives following the extension of the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.