France commits to fight against COVID-19 in Southeast Asia and in Thailand
In line with the commitments made by France, the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement - AFD) and Expertise France (EF) are mobilizing to address the coronavirus pandemic in Southeast Asia and in Thailand.
Within the framework of the “COVID-19 – Health in Common” initiative, the AFD has accorded an additional funding of 2 million euros in grants last April 28 for the benefit of the regional project on emergent diseases, ECOMORE II. Through the 5% Initiative which is one of the modalities of the French contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, EF will provide an additional support of 200,000 euros in Thailand. This support will help continue ensuring health care services for vulnerable populations.
The ECOMORE II project aims to strengthen the surveillance, diagnostic and response systems of Southeast Asian countries against outbreaks. At the cutting edge of research on dengue, Thailand has taken part in this project via Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA) and the Department of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Kasetsart University, by conducting two training sessions in order to strengthen the skills of laboratory technicians in Cambodia.
For more information: https://www.afd.fr/en/actualites/afd-strengthens-its-partnership-tica-asia
Within the framework of this project implemented by the Institut Pasteur, seven partner laboratories in five countries (Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Vietnam) will benefit from an additional support for the response phase of the COVID-19 epidemic for the following aspects: reinforcement of protective equipment for staff, purchase of diagnostic kits, reinforcement in human resources and training, transfer of skills, deployment of mass testing complementing current molecular diagnosis, and support for data processing in partnership with France’s Institute for Research for Development (Institut de recherche pour le développement - IRD) to strengthen the surveillance of the epidemic.
Within the framework of two projects supported by the 5% Initiative, an additional funding of more than 200,000 euros was accorded to the Napneung and M-Fund projects.
The Napneung project is a research program (1.25 million euros) supported by IRD and Chiang Mai University. It aims to increase the access to public testing and counselling services for HIV, hepatitis B and C and syphilis. A funding of more than 120,000 euros will make it possible to develop a COVID-19 rapid test system, to train healthcare professionals and to acquire protective equipment.
The M-Fund project or the Migrant Fund (575,000 euros) is a low-cost health insurance program supported by the social enterprise Dreamlopments, for migrants unable to benefit from healthcare coverage and living at the border between Thailand and Myanmar. A support of more than 80,000 euros will help finance premiums for two months for 8,000 beneficiaries of the M-Fund (ensuring continuity of health care services for current members and inclusion of new members), implement awareness-raising activities and acquire protective equipment.