EU pumps M93m to fight Covid-19

EU pumps M93m to fight Covid-19

MASERU-LESOTHO has received about M93 million from the European Union (EU) to assist the poor during the Covid-19 crisis.
A statement released by the EU yesterday says the funding will be providing life-saving assistance to vulnerable households in communities hardest hit by drought.

The money will be used to provide the families with food as well as access to clean water and sanitation.
The statement also says there will be agricultural inputs and technical support for those who rely on agriculture for their sustenance.
It says support will be given to the national coronavirus response through activities focusing on the strengthening of preparedness and control measures.

Further support will help enhance the national and communities’ capacities for disaster preparedness.
Janez Lenarčič, the Commissioner for Crisis Management, said the EU is helping to provide life-saving assistance to impoverished households suffering from crop and livestock losses due to drought.

“The aid package will also strengthen the preparation and response to the coronavirus pandemic for countries in the region,” Lenarčič says.
“In parallel, the EU is helping communities better prepare for natural hazards and reduce their impact,” Lenarčič said.
Lenarčič said the EU will also help Lesotho to strengthen its early warning systems and evacuation plans for communities at risk of natural hazards.
There will also be assistance to provide emergency stocks of personal protective equipment, support for children’s education and training teachers, Lenarčič added.

In total, the European Commission is providing €64.7 million in humanitarian aid for countries in the southern Africa region to help support people in need deal with the coronavirus pandemic, extreme weather conditions such as persistent drought in the region and other crises.

The humanitarian aid funding comes on top of the more than €67 million allocated to the region in 2019 following the impact of the two cyclones, drought, and the economic and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.
The southern Africa region has had just one normal rain season in the last five years, with the last quarter of 2019 being one of the ten driest since 1981 for most areas, causing large-scale livestock losses and damaging harvests.

In many places, the current growing season is exceptionally hot and dry, while in several other parts of the region, erratic rains risk undermining harvests in 2020.

In some countries, this burden comes on top of already-crippling economic woes.

Lemohang Rakotsoane

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