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COVID-19 crisis

European Union and Germany provide over 200 million euros in assistance for Senegal


Press release of 20.11.2020 |

BRUSSELS / BERLIN – The European Union (EU) and Germany are assisting Senegal in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing 112 million euros from EU funding and 100 million euros from Germany's international Emergency COVID-19 Support Programme. This funding is part of the overall European "Team Europe" package, which is geared towards supporting our partners' COVID-19 response.

The money will go towards the Senegalese government's Economic and Social Resilience Programme, especially towards activities to provide financial support to enterprises and social protection for the people.

Jutta Urpilainen, EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, said: "This unprecedented level of budget support illustrates the European Union's strong commitment to Senegal. I am proud of this joint 'Team Europe' effort to maximise the impact of social measures for the most vulnerable and to support economic players. If Senegal's authorities ensure transparent management, they may count on us to strengthen the country's resilience."

German Development Minister Gerd Müller said: "We will either beat COVID-19 together – or not at all. We are therefore committed to remain a reliable partner for Senegal, with which we have entered into a reform partnership. COVID-19 is undoing a lot of progress that had been made. Nearly half of the population is unemployed. Senegal's economy will shrink dramatically. This is an especially serious challenge for many small and medium-sized companies, which account for 90 per cent of all jobs. Through our emergency measures and bridging loans, we are helping to uphold production, thus protecting tens of thousands of jobs, for example by shifting to the production of masks and medical equipment. Even if we are struggling to respond to the consequences of the pandemic in Germany and Europe, we must not forget that the consequences of COVID-19 are far more dramatic in developing countries – for health systems, economies, and the fight against poverty and hunger."

Background

The European Union has been an important and long-standing partner for Senegal. During the period of 2014 to 2020, EU assistance for Senegal has totalled about 1 billion euros, of which 347 million euros came from bilateral financial assistance and 199.2 million euros, from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.
The EU is supporting the Senegalese government's priorities of fostering sustainable and inclusive growth and involving the private sector in the creation of jobs, especially for young people. It is also providing assistance to environmentally friendly and sustainable development in Senegal and to activities in the areas of governance, stability and migration management.

Germany has been a close partner for Senegal since the country became independent. In 2019, the two countries entered into a reform partnership. Germany supports the implementation of reforms in Senegal in the areas of good governance and anti-corruption. It is providing additional funding for these purposes. The disbursement of this funding is contingent on the Senegalese government delivering on specific commitments it has made regarding measurable progress on its reforms. Under the Marshall Plan with Africa, Germany has entered into six such reform partnerships with African countries. These programmes of cooperation with reform-oriented countries are intended to help improve the business climate, boost economic development, and create jobs. The ultimate purpose is to increase investment on the ground.

The new funding will be provided to Senegal as a contribution to its Economic and Social Resilience Programme (Programme de Résilience Economique et Sociale, PRES), which the country has launched in response to the economic and social crisis triggered by COVID-19. The COVID-19 crisis has led to a dramatic global economic and hunger crisis, which is hitting developing and emerging economies particularly hard. In order to respond to the economic and social consequences of the pandemic, support is being provided to the Senegalese government's efforts to uphold the provision of basic public services such as social protection and food security, and to continue to support the private sector and, thus, jobs.

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the informal sector are particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis and the decline in economic growth. Since the end of March, many enterprises have been forced to reduce or completely stop their activities. MSMEs form the backbone of Senegal's economy. They account for 99.8 per cent of the country's 400,000 enterprises and for 89 per cent of employment. This means they are a key driver of economic and social development in Senegal.

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