The rapid spread of the coronavirus has had profound social, health and economic impact globally, and has caused disruption to people, communities, businesses, health systems and economies, according to Von der Leyen, adding that “things are likely to get worse before they get better.”
“Africa could experience the same problems that we are facing in Europe in a matter of weeks. They need our help to slow down the spread of the virus, as we needed help in this crisis,” she said. “It is in our interest to ensure that the fight is successful worldwide,” she added.
With the money, the EU’s partner countries can strengthen their health sectors and take measures to support their economy and keep people in jobs, according to von der Leyen. On top of this, more money will be made available from national governments, “in a true ‘team Europe’ spirit.”
“The European Union stands ready to coordinate a strong international response to the pandemic. We can defeat this virus, by standing united and working together,” she added.