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December 8, (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), with support from the European Union and the German Government through the EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response Programme, held the 6thProject Steering Committee meeting in Djibouti.

The Minister of Health of Djibouti, Dr Ahmed Robleh, and the Executive Secretary of IGAD, Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, inaugurated the meeting. The Head of Cooperation of the EU to Djibouti, Ms Simona Schleden, and representatives from the UNOPS Regional Hub, GIZ, IOM, TMEA, UNICEF and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Directors of Policy and Planning, Incident Managers and Directors of Emergency Response and Medical services of Member States also attended as members of the Project Steering Committee.

The 6th PSC meeting aimed to review progress in implementation of the Programme and provide guidance on sustaining achievements.

The EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response Programme which has contributed to the mitigation of the health and socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda had received 60 million Euros from the European Union following an appeal for support by the IGAD Member State Heads of State and Government in March 2020.

The Programme focused on vulnerable populations including cross-border populations, migrants, IDPs, refugees and host communities in Member States’ selected cross-border sites, refugee settlement and migration centers. The EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response Programme, which got implemented in 55 sites, benefited 7 million vulnerable persons in addition to strengthening health and disease surveillance, WASH, child protection and Gender Based Violence prevention.

8.5 million Personal Protective Equipment gears and assorted medical supplies, 22 ambulances for referral, 5 utility vehicles, 1 water tank, 14 PCR machines, 7 mobile laboratories were delivered. Isolation and quarantine facilities and Safe Trade Zones were also set up, and 7,000 truck drivers in the Ethiopia-Djibouti trade corridors were vaccinated.

As of the 6th Steering Committee meeting, 5 Mobile labs are yet to be delivered, PCR machines in 5 countries are yet to be installed. Construction of isolation and quarantine facilities in Nimule and Wounthou in South Sudan at the border points with Uganda and Sudan in addition to the rehabilitation of 2 hospitals in Doka in Sudan are ongoing, while some WASH activities are still under implementation in UmRaquba refugee camp in Sudan. In addition, the construction of the Safe Trade Zone in Nimule has not yet started and vaccination of truck drivers started in PK12 and Tadjoura in the Republic of Djibouti, with plans to scale-up this initiative to Togwachale and along the Berbera transport corridors.


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