The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)


Fighting pandemic and strengthening healthcare in east Africa

The European Union-Intergovernmental Authority on Development (EU-IGAD) COVID-19 Response programme has benefitted millions across seven countries in east Africa.

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  • This article was originally published 14 November 2022 in the run-up to the 2022 Paris Peace Forum.

Project updates:

23 April 2024

  • A mobile laboratory truck was handed over to Kenya's Ministry of Health as part of the recently completed European Union-funded EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response Programme.

  • Under the programme, Kenya previously received three ambulances, one field vehicle, more than 1.8 million pieces of personal protective equipment, more than 27,000 COVID-19 test kits and two PCR machines to support surveillance and laboratory services in the country.

  • “While we have luckily overcome the most difficult phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am confident that [the mobile laboratory equipment] will allow Kenya to tackle other public health challenges going forward," said Henriette Geiger, European Union Ambassador to Kenya.

Read more here.

12 March 2024

  • The EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response programme, which has officially ended, benefitted more than 6.8 million people.

  • As part of the programme, critical medical supplies and equipment for COVID-19 response were delivered, including 8.6 million pieces of personal protective equipment, more than 200,000 COVID-19 test kits, 22 ambulances, 14 PCR machines, 8 field vehicles, 7 mobile laboratory trucks and more than 64,000 water, sanitation and hygiene kits.

  • Seven health facilities – located mainly in cross-border areas – were constructed or rehabilitated in Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, increasing access to healthcare in vulnerable areas.

Read more here.

The EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response programme focuses on strengthening surveillance and rapid response within health systems and mitigating the health and socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in critical cross-border areas across Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.

Supporting vulnerable and at-risk communities with the multi-faceted challenges they face requires a strong, coordinated response. It requires partners working together across sectors.

Worknesh Mekonnen - Director of UNOPS Multi-Country Office in Ethiopia

The EU-IGAD programme is delivering medical supplies and equipment while working to enhance regional capacity to coordinate national responses as well as increasing access to health, water, sanitation and hygiene services.

It's also mitigating gender-based violence, improving community engagement, ensuring borders and supply chains are safe for trade, promoting digital health solutions, and supporting vulnerable groups, including frontline workers, migrants, refugees, internally displaced persons and cross-border communities.

About the programme 

The EU-IGAD programme is managed by UNOPS, funded by the EU and coordinated by IGAD. It is implemented by the International Organization for Migration, TradeMark East Africa, UNICEF and UNOPS. The digital health solutions component is independently managed and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

EU-IGAD at the 2022 Paris Peace Forum

With the goal of mobilizing stakeholders for collective action, the Paris Peace Forum showcases governance projects and initiatives that propose specific solutions to global challenges. At this year's event, the multi-partner, multi-sectoral EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response programme – funded by the EU and managed by UNOPS – was featured. During the event, the importance of strong collaboration among partners was highlighted as key to the success of the programme.

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