As part of its plan to support partner countries around the globe, the European Union (EU) is mobilising €350 million to fight against the spread of the coronavirus and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the ASEAN region.
The EU will support actions at country and regional level to address the immediate health crisis, strengthen health systems, as well as alleviate the economic and social consequences.
EU Ambassador to ASEAN Igor Driesmans said: “In difficult times, ASEAN can count on the European Union. The EU and ASEAN are regional organisations bound by 42 years of solidarity and partnership. By mobilising €350 million in support of ASEAN countries, the EU is demonstrating its friendship with the people of the region.
We will support ASEAN’s strong, concrete measures to address the health, social and economic impact on the region. We can only overcome the coronavirus pandemic through international cooperation, solidarity and coordination.”
The EU is working with ASEAN to address the multifaceted coronavirus crisis. The first virtual EU-ASEAN Meeting on the pandemic, held on 20 March 2020, Foreign Ministers agreed to deepen cooperation, exchange experience, keep supply chains open and advance scientific research.
In the meantime, the EU has adjusted some of its existing cooperation programmes to better focus on and respond to the pandemic. The EU also decided to open 18 new EU-funded research and innovation projects (€48.5 million) on coronavirus for cooperation with ASEAN scientific organisations.