The Commission continues to provide further financial support to six Member States through the Mobility Package of the Emergency Support Instrument amounting to over €14 million, for the transport of COVID-19 vaccination-related equipment and COVID-19 therapeutics. This comes on top of the €150 million already made available for the transport of essential medical items since last year.
Shipments funded by the Mobility Package include the transport of intensive-care drugs to Belgium, and of syringes and needles to Italy. The other recipients of EU funding are Austria, Czechia, Romania and Slovenia. In total, more than 1,000 flights and 500 deliveries were funded.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “Supply chains and deliveries of medical equipment continued to be supported by the EU. From beginning of the pandemic, the Emergency Support Instrument has proven a valuable tool in our joint fight against COVID-19. Through this latest package, we have financed the transportation of essential supplies, to help save the lives of patients and boost national vaccination campaigns.”
The Emergency Support Instrument (ESI) is part of a wider range of instruments providing EU assistance, such as the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, including rescEU; the Joint Procurement Procedures and the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, while it also complements the national efforts of the Member States.
ESI enables the European Union to support its Member States when a crisis reaches an exceptional scale and impact, with wide-ranging consequences for the lives of citizens. In April 2020, ESI was activated to help EU countries address the coronavirus pandemic. ESI continues to provide fundamental assistance.
Between April and September 2020, in the first call for the funding of cargo transport, ESI made €150 million available to 18 Member States and the UK for the transport of essential medical items. This funding supported more than 1000 flights and 500 deliveries by road and sea, containing life-saving personal protective equipment, medicines and medical equipment. By the end of June 2021, a total of €1.15 million were awarded for the transport of 293 medical personnel and 35 patients.