Covid-19 response in Niger: joint efforts from German Cooperation and European Union
Much needed equipment has been handed out to over 25 healthcare centres and hospitals in different regions of Niger : 100.000 latex gloves, 96.000 surgical masks, 21.000 bars of soap, 300 handwashing stations and 250 thermometers.
This donation has been made possible with th esupport of project ProGEM , a joint initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF). It is implemented by the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ). The medical and hygiene material was distributed within the scope of “Team Europe”, a global initiative of the European Union and its member states against the spread of Covid-19.
ProGEM, implemented in the framework of the Sahel Alliance, provides support to communities and regions to improve access to basic social services and economic opportunities for migrants and host communities. In this regard, the project was able to quickly respond to local authorities’ requests for support in managing the challenges of Covid-19 and provide vital equipment for health centres catering to the needs of both migrants and residents.
The Secretary General of the Governorate of Agadez, Elh Attaher Adam, expressed his gratitude during the handover ceremony on April 17: «This is an important support from the European Union and the German Cooperation, which have once again strengthened the capacities of our health centres and certain communities in the fight against the corona-virus pandemic »
Equipment is one precondition to prevent the spread of the disease and assure that both health workers and patients are kept safe. Knowledge is another condition. Therefore, ProGEM also helps health authorities spread information about the Corona-virus among migrants and host communities. For instance, radio shows, information events and posters demonstrate the importance of washing hands and keeping distance. Those activities are just one example of how projects respond to Covid-19. But there are many projects of German Cooperation and other members of Sahel Alliance who provide valuable support to their partners in Niger and elsewhere.
Mali: Projects continue and provide additional support
One example from Mali is the “Roads to Peace” programme. Throught this initiative, community hygiene kits consisting of 100 water canisters and 42 boxes of soap were donated to the Regional Health Authority in Gao. The kits will be distributed to all health stations in the Gao region to enable health workers and the local population to wash their hands regularly. In addition, 20 handwashing kits and 40 boxes of soap were donated to 20 additional regional public services in Gao. The “Roads to Peace” programme is implemented by KfW Development Bank. The German funds finance – among other things – the construction and equipment of basic infrastructure, including eight health stations. This thematic reference has enabled a quick and unbureaucratic procurement from project funds and provision of the hygiene kits to the Malian partners within one week.
Simultaneously, various small-scale irrigation projects in the inland delta, Koulikoro/Sikasso, Mopti and Gao carried out procurement and distribution of hygiene products and seeds at the project locations as well as awareness raising campaigns among the target group.
However, the projects do not focus on Covid-19 as their aim – improvement of yields – has not lost importance. Regular project activities continue as far as it is possible given the current situation.
Worldwide: German quick impact programme
BMZ has reallocated one billion Euro for a global quick impact programme. It supports different sectors that are affected by the crisis, e.g. health, food security, jobs and social security, while making sure that fragile regions such as the Sahel and particularly vulnerable groups such as refugees are supported adequately.
Covid-19 is a huge challenge that requires a global and coordinated response. Together we are stronger. And that is why Germany is proud to be part of “Team Europe”. TeamEurope has already reallocated and mobilised 20 billion euros to support the efforts of the partner countries worldwide.