The Phnom Penh Post
EU, WHO join forces to give Covid aid to SE Asia
THE EU Delegation to Cambodia and World Health Organisation (WHO) have demonstrated their joint commitment to assisting Cambodia with its Covid-19 response while helping the country prepare for future health security threats by investing $3.5 million into a project spanning over three years.
According to a joint press release issued on June 2, the $3.5 million would be invested by the EU through WHO to support the Cambodian government in its preparedness and response to Covid-19. Some of the funds would also be spent on strengthening the Kingdom’s health system.
The statement said the funding is part of a specific EU-WHO regional health programme to support ASEAN member states.
“For more than a decade, Cambodia has been strengthening its health security system, including pandemic preparedness.
“This investment from the EU and partnership will contribute to our collective efforts to respond to the Covid19 pandemic and make the country better prepared for public health emergencies,” said Li Ailan, WHO Representative to Cambodia.
Carmen Moreno, head of the EU Delegation to Cambodia, said that the EU and its member states were collectively committed to working with Cambodia to tackle the socioeconomic and environmental consequences of the pandemic and to build back better to ensure that no one is left behind.
She said “Team Europe” has provided €2.2 billion ($2.68 billion] to help 92 low and middleincome countries globally, including Cambodia, gain access to Covid-19 vaccines through
the Covax initiative.
“The EU is also very pleased that Cambodia was the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to receive 324,000 doses of vaccines on March 2 through the Covax facility,” Moreno said.
The $3.5 million will be spent on suppressing virus transmission and reducing deaths from Covid19,
according to the statement.
“On behalf of the European Union, I am glad that the EU has signed a contract with the WHO to strengthen Cambodia’s capacity to respond to the pandemic and build up a resilient health system.
“This support comes now when it is most needed. Solidarity and collective action are essential to overcome the Covid-19 crisis in Cambodia, ASEAN and the rest of the world. Together we are stronger,” Moreno said.
Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng said the partnership between the EU and WHO to support Covid19 preparedness and response was a show of international solidarity in the form of much-needed assistance for Cambodia during this difficult time.
“The health ministry will continue to work closely with WHO to strengthen Cambodia’s health security system,” he said.
According to the statement, the EUWHO partnership in Cambodia is part of their Southeast Asia pandemic preparedness and response programme.
To carry out this programme, the EU has provided €20 million ($24.35 million) through WHO to the governments of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.