The French Embassy in Egypt on Monday said the European country would hand Egypt €15 million ($16.93 million) in support to the Egyptian state’s efforts to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
This comes as Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed and Egyptian International Cooperation Minister Rania el Mashat have signed an agreement with French Ambassador to Egypt Stephane Romatet and director of the French Development Agency (AFD) Fabio Grazi, under which the agency shall allocate a sum of €15 million to the Egyptian Ministry of Health.
This aid will enhance the Egyptian Ministry of Health’s urgent response to COVID-19, the statement said, and will help it purchase medical gear and get equipment for protection against the pandemic, state’s news agency MENA reported.
In May, the French and German ambassadors to Egypt issued a joint statement hailing the Egyptian authorities’ efforts to contain the spread of the novel virus and protect Egyptians, while they deal with the economic stability issues.
In the statement entitled “Our solidarity goes beyond the borders of Europe,” German Ambassador Cyrill Nunn and Romatet praised the Egyptian people’s “sense of responsibility” who have followed the social rules to prevent coronavirus infection.
“To overcome these difficulties and defeat the virus, France and Germany today, more than ever, stand side by side with Egypt,” the statement read.
“We support the economic and sustainable growth of Egypt and its people through activities related to the development of the private sector, in terms of job provision, water fields, energy, education, urban development and digitization.
Also, the European Union has provided €89 million ($100.5 million) to the Egyptian health sector to help authorities manage the coronavirus crisis, said EU Ambassador to Egypt Ivan Surkos.
This comes while the northeastern Africa country is involved in a fierce battle against the novel coronavirus, as it has so far confirmed 44,598 cases and 1,575 deaths, according to an official toll on Sunday.
Surkos affirmed to Egypt Today that the EU is showing solidarity with Egypt as a strategic partner in the face of the novel coronavirus. He added that the EU will cooperate with Egypt, while taking into account social and economic sustainable development after the end of the crisis.
He also referred to a €1.5 billion aid allocated to help Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Morocco and Tunisia respond to the crisis.
The financial aid allocated by the EU aims to help Egypt respond to the direct threat posed by the coronavirus against Egyptians generally. The €89 billion aid aims to enhancing the resources of the health ministry, through helping the ministry purchase medical equipment and train medical cadres.
In April, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Oliver Varhelyi said he made a phone call with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, during which he affirmed the need of cooperation to fight the deadly virus.