To support partner countries in the fight against the coronavirus and its consequences, the European Union has mobilised a “Team Europe” package of over €800 million for the ASEAN region.
The funds will support actions at country and regional level to address the immediate health crisis, strengthen health, water and sanitation systems, as well as mitigate the socio-economic impact.
The package includes regional support to the WHO, as well as to enhance collaboration between scientific organisations. In ASEAN Member States, programmes target civil society support, budget support for economic recovery, health care facilities and testing capacities, as well as humanitarian assistance.
The EU is working with ASEAN on a regional level to exchange experiences in regional responses to the crisis. The first virtual EU-ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting held on 20 March 2020 agreed that both regions would work together to deal with the Coronavirus crisis and its consequences.
The European Union has launched a “Team Europe” package of almost €36 billion to support partner countries around the globe. The objective of this “Team Europe” approach is to combine resources from the EU, its Member States, and financial institutions, in particular the European Investment Bank, based in Luxembourg, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
On the ASEAN regional level, “Team Europe” funds will:
- Support the WHO in Southeast Asia (€20 million) to strengthen the health system capacity and to respond to the coronavirus and future diseases.
- Foster collaboration with ASEAN scientific organisations funded through the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020. In individual ASEAN Member States “Team Europe” funds:
- Protection of livelihoods and resilience of vulnerable communities, in particular by working with civil society
- Budget support for economic recovery
- Health care facilities and testing capacities
- Humanitarian assistance
Examples of activities of EU-ASEAN development cooperation programmes:
- The EU-ASEAN dialogue facility (E-READI) organised a webinar dedicated to High-Performance Computing (HPC) COVID19-related modelling and diagnostic
- The ASEAN Farmer Organisations’ Support Project (AFOSP) organised virtual sharing sessions showcase local initiatives and helps cooperatives store and process produce during lock down, develop online marketing, and deliver directly to customers where possible.
- The WeEmpowerAsia progamme provides opportunities for women to lead and participate in private sector businesses in this time of pandemic by providing trainings on financial and digital literacy.