The European Union (EU) has commended Rwanda for its rapid and effective response to curbing the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
EU Head of Delegation to Rwanda, Nicola Bellomo said that among its partners, Rwanda has done an outstanding job in handling coronavirus, which is worthy recognition among African countries where the EU has operations.
The EU representative was speaking at the celebration to mark Europe Day and the 70th anniversary of the Shcuman Declaration held in Kigali this Saturday.
“Allow me to express our (EU) appreciation and praise to the government and people of Rwanda for the rapid and effective response to this pandemic. We also pay tribute to those on the front line, health, security and media personnel and those working to allow access to essential services,” Bellomo said.
So far the EU has under the National Indicative Programme disbursed the €52million to Rwanda government’s resources in the fight against Covid-19 and this amount is to be increased according to Amb. Bellomo.
Bellomo said that in this time of Covid19 (coronavirus) they are working with the government to reallocate resources to underpin the efforts to respond to this crisis.
“We are also working with civil societies to provide support to the most vulnerable,” he said.
“That amount will be added to and disbursed under existing Food Security budget support. Operations with Government and Non-State Actors and the EU will align itself to the vision and the plans of the government. It is important to leave no-one behind,” Bellomo said in an interview.
Last month the EU started a Covid19 pledging marathon which raised £7.4billion to ensure the collaborative development in the universal distribution of treatment, diagnostics, and vaccination against the coronavirus.
According to Bellomo, in Rwanda, the EU is supporting government vision and ambitions through political dialogue, development cooperation, and support to the private sector, promotion of trade and investment, cultural and academic partnerships.
To further promote this collaboration Amb. Bellomo said that the EU is organizing a global Africa-EU forum in June that will bring all member Heads of States to further discuss the way forward in their partnership.
“We are proud of the long-standing partnership with Rwanda which is framed within the broader concept of the continent to continent. Later this year we plan to host the 6th summit of the heads of states between African and European Union which will provide another platform to discuss global challenges and strengthen our partnership, ” Bellomo said.
At the ceremony, Rwanda’s minister of foreign affairs, Dr. Vincent Biruta said that Rwanda values the partnership with the EU and especially the financial support in the fight against Covid-19.
Biruta stated that this year was supposed to be a time to further bilateral consultations and development cooperation but this was derailed by the Covid19 pandemic, though hope remains to resume the discussions.
“Am sure that once this global health situation gets better, we will pick up from where we left off and take this strategic partnership for Rwanda and Africa to new heights that are mutually beneficial for our people,” Biruta said in an online virtual statement during the celebration marked in Kigali.
Mid this year, Rwanda was supposed to host the ministerial meeting for the 2nd AU-EU partnership.