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EU Projects to Support Cuba’s COVID-19 Response

The EU and Cuba flags. Projects redirected to assist in the COVID-19 pandemic. Flag images courtesy: Wikipedia

The European Union (EU) has prepared a response package to accompany Cuba’s efforts in combatting COVID-19. These packages are in collaboration with local agencies and entities in order to respond immediately to the global pandemic. Ongoing projects and cooperation programs, especially in agriculture and climate change, are valued at a total of 1.7 million euros.

Two new projects have been contracted and implemented by civil society organizations for two million euros. An extensive action is being created and will be executed by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Other joint projects in the coming months are possible in coordination with “Team Europe” which supports partner countries in the fight against the pandemic and its consequences.

Funds have been redirected from the AGROCADENAS (Support Program for the Strengthening of Agri-Food Chains at the Local Level) and BASAL (Environmental Bases for Local Food Sustainability) projects, for the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the amount of 260,000 euros. In addition, 1.5 million euros from the SAS-Cuba program (local self-sufficiency for healthy eating) to the purchase of emergency supplies for short cycle food production. These initiatives have been implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on the Island. Other adaptations of ongoing cooperation programs are being reviewed in the areas of energy, drought risks and landslide risks.

Two new projects valued at two million euros have been recently signed. The first project, Caring for the Elderly in times of COVID-19 coordinates with the Italian organization WeWorld-GVC and the Cuban Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics, and the Provincial Government of Havana. The project will optimize health service response to the pandemic for vulnerable older persons in the 15 municipalities of Havana.

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The second project, “Increase Prevention and Confrontation Measures Against COVID-19 in Cuba,” is led by the Society of Hygiene and Epidemiology and the Society for Bioengineering of Cuba, and the Spanish NGO MPDL (Movement for Peace), and seeks to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among healthcare workers who are at the highest risk for contagion.

The EU Delegation in Cuba has been working in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX), the Cuban Neuroscience Center (CNEURO), the National Center for Immunoassay, and other entities belonging to BioCubaFarma. The project is coordinated by the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the Island.

This cooperative project will increase the availability of ventilators in intensive care units and PPE for health workers. It will also strengthen national capacities for testing. This new project has a budget of 1.5 million euros and will be carried by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Information source: Delegación de la Unión Europea en Cuba

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