The EU has stepped up to assist the Turkish Cypriot community in its battle against coronavirus, procuring €2.5m worth of medical equipment and mobilizing 25 medical specialists who will be sent to the north for three months.
The EU support comes in the framework of the Union’s aid programme for the Turkish Cypriot community, which has been ongoing since 2016 and aims at facilitating the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the north.
According to a press release issued on Friday by the Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus, through a Contribution Agreement with UNDP in Cyprus, the EU successfully procured the first batch of urgent medical equipment and supplies for an amount of €2.5 million and has also mobilized 25 medical specialists, including doctors, laboratory technicians and support staff, who will be sent to the north for three months to help the fight against COVID-19.
In total, the European Commission has earmarked a budget of €5 million for the provision of aid to the Turkish Cypriot community which is scrambling to deal with the multifaceted consequences of the virus outbreak.
The Turkish Cypriot community had recently requested assistance from the EU in dealing with the pandemic, which has brought the economy in the north to its knees.
The procurement of the first batch of urgent equipment and supplies was secured from suppliers in Europe and China, and is expected to arrive in the north later in April.
Among the equipment and supplies procured are personal protection equipment, ventilators, ICU equipment, laboratory consumables, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) kits, and medication such as antibiotics, antivirals, and sedatives.
"The European Commission shall continue providing assistance to further strengthening COVID-19 response capacities, notably in setting-up an effective management, coordination and operational response structure and upgrading the Turkish Cypriot response plan," the press release said.