A grant agreement, worth EUR 4.9 million, to help Serbia in the fight against COVID-19, was signed today in Belgrade between Ambassador Fabrizi, Minister Joksimovic and Head of UNOPS Office in Serbia, Michela Telatin. This grant will enable the purchase of respirators, tests and protective and laboratory equipment. United Nations Office for Project Services has been designated as implementing partner.
This grant is part of the 93 million euros EU financial support to Serbia for immediate, short and medium term measures to counter the impact of COVID-19.
Minister for European Integration and National IPA Coordinator and Coordinator of Donor and Development Assistance Jadranka Joksimovic and Ministry for European Integration work daily and intensively with the European Union and bilateral partners.
“Challenges are the same, cooperation and effective solidarity are the only way to fight the pandemic. These additional 4.9 million that we signed today will urgently be directed towards the purchase of masks, respirators, laboratory tests, intensive care monitors, contactless thermometers and protective equipment, triage containers and other necessary equipment. We are in intense and constant communication also regarding the future direction of money from the available EU funds for socio-economic development, where we will have significant EU support. We continue working! ”, said Joksimovic.
Since the outburst of the COVID-19 crisis, the European Union has helped Serbia first through the evacuation of stranded Serbian citizens from Wuhan and most recently through financing of the cost of 5 cargo planes transporting emergency medical equipment. It also invited Serbia to join the EU Joint procurement agreement for medical products.
”Europe is fighting a very difficult situation. Thousands of people are infected and thousands are dying every day. In difficult moments, we have to stick together and I am happy that European Union solidarity swiftly responded to Serbia’s request for assistance. We have allocated 15 million euros for immediate needs. We have already fully funded the transport costs of the first five cargo planes that arrived to Serbia in the past week with medical equipment. With this 4.9 million euro grant agreement today we are helping Serbia purchase additional critical medical equipment. EU support will continue further, both in the immediate as well as short and medium term, with a total value of 93 million euros, in response to Serbia’s needs”, said Sem Fabrizi, Ambassador to the EU Delegation to Serbia.
This procurement of medical equipment -respirators, laboratory equipment and tests, intensive care monitors, contactless thermometers and protective equipment, as well as containers required for triage, is conducted by the United Nations Office of Project Services – UNOPS.
The European Union is Serbia’s accession partner, biggest investor, trade partner and donor. Since the beginning of Serbia’s accession talks in 2014, the EU has donated to Serbia almost 2 billion euros of non-refundable grants to support the modernisation of the country.
In the health sector alone the EU has granted and loaned 450 million euros over the past 2 decades to Serbia to make the system more modern and resilient.