N$172 million EU grant will go a long way in fighting COVID-19

N$172 million EU grant will go a long way in fighting COVID-19

Minister of Information Communication and Technology (MICT), Dr Peya Mushelenga said for Namibia, as a small developing state, the N$172 million grant received from the European Union (EU) is significant.
He said it will go a long way in addressing health issues and the fight against COVID-19.
He said it will also relieve the Government of pressure, especially in the e-learning process and other COVID-19 related issues.
EU Ambassador to Namibia, Sinikka Antila said the grant will be used for procurement of health equipment and to assist in the economic and social challenges.
She, however, added that the EU will monitor the process.
She also emphasised that the EU is giving grants not loans and that the grants given to Namibia have no strings attached.
The ambassador called for cooperation between organisations to support countries to implement response plans to the fight against the virus.
She added that the EU, in partnership with UNESCO, will help in the e-learning initiative.
She said, "as long as the virus is spreading, we are all at risk. Therefore, we need to work together."
Ned Sibeya, the Deputy Chief in the National Planning Commission (NPC) said drawbacks have been FELT.
The implementation of the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) was disrupted and the earmarked projects have been put on hold to provide resources towards the fight against the pandemic.
Sibeya said COVID-19 surprised the NPC.
There was no budget for the pandemic.
They, therefore, reprioritised projects to focus on assisting the health sector.
He, however, noted that the projects put on hold will be continued after the pandemic.
They said this during an update at the COVID-19 Communication Centre today.