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Covid-19 in Nigeria

N21bn donation is for the poor in Nigeria, EU confirms

Valentine Chinyem

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Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, the Head of European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, has said that the N21bn (€50m) donated to Nigeria by the EU is largely meant for the poor.

“That is why part of the €50m we provide will also be for the relief and safety net for the most vulnerable people, internally displaced persons. The poor people that depend on the informal markets, they do day-to-day work to put food on their table; the elderly, IDPs, and these, particularly, vulnerable people are the centre-stage of our intervention,” he said.

This is contrary to his previous statement that the donation was also meant for the provision of Personal Protection Equipment, kits, and to double the testing capacity for COVID-19 in the country.

However while fielding questions from journalists at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday, after announcing the €50m donation, Karlsen said the fund, which would be administered by the United Nations would increase the capacity of COVID-19 treatment in the country.

He said, “The pandemic requires global responses and if we try to fix it country by country, we may not get it right and that is why we are adopting a multilateral approach.

“So, Team Europe came up with a significant package for Nigeria; we are mobilising €50m and another €1.2m that we already gave as part of humanitarian assistance through UNICEF.”

Karlsen noted that despite going through worst as a result of Covid-19, the EU was concerned about the health and economic impact of the pandemic in Nigeria, adding that it did not want Nigeria to experience what it was going through presently.