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November 30,2023 (ARTA , Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), organized in collaboration with the European Union and UNOPS , GIZ (Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit ), has held a closing meeting of the COVID-19 Response program project of the EU-IGAD, today.

 A response program project has closed after two days of deliberations, in Arta Ville, Djibouti.

Speaking on behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, Madam Fathia Alwan, Director of the Health and Social Development Division announced that the joint response developed by IGAD and the European Union in the critical context of the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic officially closed.

“First of all, we would like to thank the Republic of Djibouti which currently holds the rotating presidency of IGAD for this important regional meeting on national soil which brings together all the member states.” She added

According to Rosselia Monti PhD, IGAD – EU COVID-19 Response UNOPS Senior project Manager, on responding to the health needs her organization achieved another result.

“The most important for ensuring the development, we piloted a vision to harmonize the health system at a regional scale to reach standards of efficiency, efficacy and economy.” She said

In a speech delivered on the occasion on behalf of the government of Djibouti, Mr Mohamed Ali Mohamed, Secretary General of the Ministry of Health of Djibouti underlined the crucial role of the Republic of Djibouti, the path traveled in this ordeal to achieve the results expected, by all stakeholders, during the 3 years of implementation of activities in our 7 respective countries, under the coordination informed by the Directorate of Health and Social Development, the Executive Secretariat of IGAD and the substantial funding from the European Union, managed by UNOPS in conjunction with UNICEF, TMEA, and IOM, was strewn with challenges, under the leadership of the President of the Republic, His Excellency Mr. Ismaïl Omar Guelleh , who is currently president of IGAD.

“It is with a feeling of satisfaction given the positive effects on the health of our populations, tinged with questions about the expected continuation of our regional commitment to preserve our well-being, Your unwavering commitment and collaboration have been the pillars of our collective response to this global pandemic, which has seriously threatened our societies” Mr Mohamed noted.

During the opening ceremony of the meeting, Dr. Girum Hailu, a regional coordinator for EU-IGAD COVID 19 response project stated that the learned lessons learnt from the COVID 19 Response project will be used to strengthen the health system in the IGAD region.

Finally, the participants summarised the achievements and challenges, including, the fund utilization versus achievements and the unfinished projects and activities and justifications for suspension as well as the utilization of donated items and provided recommendations for documentation.

It is stated on the occasion that six projects of the steering committee meetings have been conducted since the initiation of the EU-IGAD COVID19 Response Program.

The first PSC informed the membership of the PSC and agreed on the Terms of Reference. The previous four PSC meetings have informed great initiatives; East Sudan humanitarian crisis support, PCR machine procurement, and distribution, Vaccination of truck drivers in Ethiopia and Djibouti, extension of childcare under UNICEF to Terego district in Uganda, six months of No Cost Extension and guided on other operational issues in project implementation and sustainability of the project. The sixth PSC meeting enabled an extensive project review (collaboration, achievements, lessons learned, challenges) through reviewing the second annual report, discussing the future of the project and its continuation to sustain the results achieved.

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