EU’s €50m Aid In ‘Basket Fund’ For Nigeria’s COVID-19 Response – SGF Mustapha

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BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – The European Union (EU) 50 million Euros donation to Nigeria will be channeled to the “One COVID-19 Basket Fund” in support of the national pandemic response plan.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF), Mr Boss Mustapha, said President Muhammadu Buhari has already received the EU’s contribution on behalf of Nigeria.

According to the SGF, “The money will be channeled through the basket fund to facilitate rapid procurement of equipment, consumables, supporting socio-economic interventions for vulnerable groups and other aspects of treatment and critical care continuum.”

He therefore assured that all resources coming into the COVID-19 Basket Fund will be transparently and judiciously expended for the overall good of Nigerians and the nation.

Mustapha, who spoke at the PTF daily briefing on COVID-19 in the country on Tuesday, also admitted that the President’s extension of the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the FCT by 14 days, was a difficult decision to make, but expressed government’s conviction that it was indeed the right thing to do in this present circumstance.

“The evidence is clear. The repercussions of any premature end to the lockdown action are unimaginable,” the PTF Chairman said.

He urged Nigerians to shun actions that could hurt the gains achieved thus far, adding that it was important to prevent a possible rapid increase in community transmission by making necessary sacrificed and enduring a little longer.

Nigeria and the United Nations (UN) had launched the ‘One COVID-19 Basket Fund’, framework, to mobilise over two million dollars from the UN system for the procurement of essential medical supplies aimed at boosting Federal Government’s efforts in containing the virus and caring for confirmed cases in need of serious medical attention.

Also speaking at the media briefing, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said the Treatment Centre Accreditation Team (TCAT) was working hard with the set out guidelines for their assignment

He said the team is committed to delivering on its mandate of conducting random spot checks on Isolation and Treatment facilities across the country.

Dr Ehanire stated that over 9,000 persons of interest have been followed up in contact tracing; with most of them having completed their 14 days isolation period.

“Government notes early evidence of community transmission, which reinforced the call for physical distancing, the use of masks in public places, as well as strict personal and respiratory hygiene. – With additional reports from NAN

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