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ONE reacts to the EU global response to COVID-19

Brussels – The EU released a global response package to support partner countries in their efforts to address COVID-19. The financial package amounts to €15.6 billion from existing external action resources, with 31% of geographically earmarked funds allocated to Africa.

Emily Wigens, EU Director at The ONE Campaign said:  “Mobilizing €15.6 billion to support a global COVID-19 response is a solid start. But if you consider that the EU invested just €2.6 billion in health between 2014-2020, this package illustrates how much more expensive it is to respond to a crisis, rather than prevent one with long-term investment. This should be a wake-up call for member states negotiating the EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework. The EU must agree on an ambitious package for external action, as efforts for a global pandemic response plan must go beyond this communication, which consists of existing funds.

While this communication presents a comprehensive set of solutions, some key questions remain unanswered. How will the EU respond to African leaders’ urgent call for life-saving medical supplies? How will funds urgently support those working in the informal sector? These questions require strong, ambitious responses over and above what was already set out today, and the EU should use the meeting of G20 Finance Ministers next week to integrate some of these answers into the global roadmap. 

Beyond the crisis, we want to see the EU drive the debate on a reformed global system equipped to respond to global challenges more effectively- whether related to climate change, health or inequalities. To prepare for the future we need a more inclusive global architecture that has the fight for equality and justice at its heart.”