The Republic of Germany said it had granted Nigeria debt relief amounting to N8.9bn (€22.4m) on account of the coronavirus pandemic. Also, the German government said it had successfully campaigned for the G20, the Paris Club and creditor countries in favour of a debt moratorium for nations heavily affected by the economic impact of COVID-19.
The European economic powerhouse stated this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, while announcing the provision of additional €5.5m (N2.2bn) to the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund managed by the United Nations to continue life-saving aid in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. It said the fund was for the drilling of wells, construction of sanitation facilities, rehabilitation of buildings or construction of shelters for internally displaced persons and other victims of insecurity in the North-East.
“This brings Germany ́s contribution to the NHF to a total of more than €29m since it became operational in May 2017, making Germany a major donor to the NHF over the past three years,” the German mission said in the statement. It noted, “In 2020, the German treasury relieves Nigeria of debt repayments amounting to € 22.4m (N8.9bn). This comes in addition to Germany’s support to the COVID-19 response on a global level and the support provided by the European Union to partner countries in Africa worth €3.25bn (N1.3tn).
“On April 27, Germany pledged € 300m (N120bn) to the global humanitarian response plan launched by the United Nations to fight COVID-19.” Germany also said it had pledged a total of €12m (N4.8bn) in support of the West Africa Health Organisation, the regional health institution of ECOWAS. The new allocation, Berlin said, was earmarked for the purchase of vital medical supplies and laboratory equipment, training measures and more generally, cooperation in pandemic prevention at the national and regional levels.
“Clearly, the current crisis goes beyond national and even continental borders and can only be fought effectively in a cooperative way. We need more international cooperation, not less,” German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, stated. The statement further said the procurement of protective materials and hygiene articles such as hand disinfectant, protective clothing, surface disinfectant, KN95 face masks, contactless clinical thermometers and gloves valued at €20,000 (N8m) for the Nigeria Police Force had started through Germany ́s implementing agency, GIZ.
It noted that the materials would be handed over shortly in Abuja. Germany explained that it had supported the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control with the introduction of a Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System which, as of August 2019, was implemented in 200 local government areas.