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CORONA VIRUS North Macedonia receives EU assistance to tackle coronavirus crisis

The European Union delivered this week another batch of supplies to North Macedonia in an effort to help the country in the management of the coronavirus crisis. This in-kind assistance has been offered by the Republic of Slovakia, through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

The delivery of the supplies will be marked Friday with an event in the premises of the Directorate for Protection and Rescue, the EU Delegation said in a press release. The event will see addresses by EU Ambassador David Geer, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs, Nikola Dimitrov, Ambassador of Slovakia, Henrik Markus and Director of the Protection and Rescue Directorate, Adnan Dzaferoski.

The assistance consists of 10.000 FFP3 masks, 6.000 FFP2 masks, 20.000 surgical masks, as well as other items such as hygiene packages and generators. Additional 75,000 FFP2 masks and 35.000 gowns were allocated from the rescEU medical stockpile in Germany. “

“I thank Germany for hosting and transporting this batch of rescEU equipment as well as Slovakia for their generosity towards our close neighbours in the Western Balkans. Personal protective equipment remains essential as we continue fighting against the coronavirus”, said Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič.

“The EU remains the biggest provider of support to North Macedonia in the fight against COVID-19,” said the press release.

From the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the EU provided to North Macedonia urgent medical aid worth 4 million euros, which included much-needed respirators. The EU has included the country in its joint procurement agreement and emergency response mechanism, which were until then accessible only to Member States. In this way, North Macedonia has the possibility to place orders for the purchase of Veklury (Remdesivir) directly from the pharmaceutical company. Veklury is the only medicine with authorization in the EU for treatment of Covid-19 patients needing oxygen supply.

In order to help North Macedonia with management of the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the EU provided 160 million euros of macro-financial assistance in the form of long-term loans at favourable rates. The first tranche of 80 million euros was disbursed last week.

Previously, the EU provided 3 million euros in direct budget support for the labour and education sector. Considerable aid for companies and the labour market (49 million euros in the form of grants and interest-free loans) will be made available by the end of the month.

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