EU provides first €2 million for urgent medical needs in BiH

EU Ambassador to BiH Johann Sattler and UNDP Resident Representative in BiH Steliana Nedera signed today financial package worth EUR 2 million for immediate medical needs of Bosnia and Herzegovina in response to COVID-19. The agreement covers purchase of 80 respirators, testing kits and personal protective equipment.

Ambassador Sattler stated: “Fighting the corona virus BiH is in great need. My message today is: the European Union and myself as the EU ambassador is ready to help BiH. The first concern is always the health of citizens. But we also closely follow the economic consequences. Both lives and jobs have to be saved. The purchase of respirators, as well as thousands of testing kits and protective equipment, is ongoing”.

This is the first instalment of EU assistance and the second instalment of EUR 5 million will soon follow. In total, the EU assistance for the country’s immediate medical needs amounts EUR 7 million, that will enable the procurement of respirators, testing kits and substantial quantities of personal protective equipment.

Steliana Nedera, UNDP Resident Representative in BiH said:The United Nations Development Programme, as part of the UN Team in BiH and working closely with WHO, engaged quickly to support BiH partners in response to the COVID-19 pandemic since the declaration of the state of emergency. Today’s signing of a € 2 million agreement once again confirms the strong partnership between UNDP, the EU and domestic authorities in responding to the crisis caused by the Corona virus. We can do a lot together, as we have shown during and after the 2014 floods.”

At the moment, UNDP is working on procurement of essential medical equipment and supplies, to meet a top priority of testing and treatment of persons infected with Corona virus, and for safe and uninterrupted operation of medical professionals and other competent services throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In addition to the immediate medical needs, the EU will also direct over EUR 70 million into saving jobs of the most affected businesses, including companies working in tourism and transportation sectors.