In response to a call by the World Health Organization (WHO), Estonia is allocating €100,000 from development and humanitarian aid instruments to help contain the spread and mitigate the consequences of the novel coronavirus in the world's poorest countries.
In its call to countries and health organizations worldwide, the WHO stressed that in fighting the coronavirus, we are as strong as our most vulnerable health systems, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.
Estonia, in solidarity with other governments, wants to contribute to fighting the global epidemic, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said.
"The coronavirus has spread across the world," Reinsalu said. "If we want to get the spread of the virus under control and protect all of our health, we must be able to do so in all countries worldwide."
Cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have reached Africa and the Middle East, where the virus could further spread to conflict zones, and humanitarian aid workers in countries with vulnerable health systems are concerned. In late March, the the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the WHO issued a $2 billion plea for global consolidated humanitarian aid to combat COVID-19.
The international appeal aims to help people in the world's poorest countries, and particular consideration will be given to vulnerable groups, including the elderly, those with disabilities, women and children. Funding raised will be used primarily for medical and lab equipment procurements for countries in need of assistance, as well as for the water, sanitation and hygiene cluster in densely populated areas and camps. Assistance will also be provided to inform the population about the spread of the virus, train and instruct health professionals as well as provide logistical support for delivering aid.
This January, the WHO classified COVID-19, which began spreading late last year, as an international health crisis. In mid-March, it upgraded its classification to global pandemic.
Editor: Aili Vahtla