East Galway TD Ciaran Cannon took part in a video conference today with other Development Ministers in the EU to discuss a major support package for countries in Africa and small island nations.
Minister Cannon participated in the conference call from his home in Carrabane and said that the work is vital in view of the shortage of ventilators in a number of countries.
The Fine Gael TD said that while we work to tackle the spread of the coronavirus at home, we must also remain focused on its effects on our partner countries in Africa.
Sierra Leone has just one ventilator for its 7.5 million people, the Central African Republic has three machines for 5 million citizens, while Burkina Faso has 11 ventilators for a population of almost 20 million.
Minister Cannon said: “When Europe is recovering from the virus, it will be raging in other parts of the world and we have to work in solidarity with these countries to protect all of us on this planet by stamping out this thing once and for all. As Dr. Paul Ryan of the WHO said recently, ‘No one is safe, until everyone is safe’.
“People may rest assured therefore that Ireland and the EU are working together to strengthen health systems, building countries’ capacities to deliver vital services to their people.”