The UN and EU respond to the rise of COVID-19 in Nigeria

Date: 
Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Global | Department of Global Communications | 30 June 2020

As Nigeria’s COVID-19 Cases surge, UN and EU respond with urgently needed essential medical supplies to save lives

HHumanitarian Coordinator of the UN in Nigeria, Mr Edwards Kallon; Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire and Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, at the handing over ceremony held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, on 20 June.As the total number of COVID-19 pandemic cases in Nigeria surged from 665 on 20 April, to 6,677 on 20 May and 19,808 on 20 June; coupled with fatality rising at the same period from 22 in April to 202 in May and 506 in June, it became clearer that the curve would, for a while, continue to be steep as testing is ramped up and delivery of essential medical supplies would have to be quickened to match the rapid surge and save lives.

The urgently needed boost to the Nigerian situation, however, came on 20 June 2020, when the United Nations system in Nigeria and the European Union, landed a shipment of vital medical supplies,including oxygen concentrators, test kits and PPEs,  and handed over to the Federal Government of Nigeria to help fight the spread of coronavirus and safe treatment of affected people in the country.

“The arrival of the medical supplies will be a boost to the Government’s efforts to provide an efficient and effective healthcare response for those affected by the virus. These vital supplies co-funded by the EU will help us to both protect healthcare workers and ensure people are tested and treated as quickly as possible to save lives,” said Mr. Edward Kallon, the Resident Coordinator of UN Nigeria at the handing over event at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Internal Airport, Abuja.

Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, Head of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, acknowledged that “Today we take a vital step in the response to the pandemic. The alliance between Team Europe, the PTF and the UN has proven very strong. This is partnership in practice when it matters the most. Addressing the health crisis in Nigeria and getting the economic wheels turning again are key priorities for the EU, all while making sure that we protect the most vulnerable,”

Receiving the supplies on behalf of the government, Mr. Boss Mustapha, Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, represented by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said “We must all work together to contain the pandemic in Nigeria. We will beat this virus in Nigeria – and the support we are receiving from partners such as the EU, UN and others brings us even closer to this ultimate goal,”

The UN in collaboration with the Government of Nigeria had on 6 April 2020, launched the One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund. The Basket Fund has mobilized a total of US$61.3 million.

Photo credit for photo: UN Nigeria/ Oluseyi Soremekun.
Holding flags from R-L: UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN in Nigeria, Mr Edwards Kallon; Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire and Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, at the handing over ceremony held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, on 20 June.