EU mobilises 378 million USD to help ASEAN in COVID-19 fight hinh anh 1In Bangkok, Thailand (Photo: AFP)

Jakarta (VNA) - The EU announced on April 27 that it is mobilising 350 million EUR (378 million USD) in an effort to help ASEAN members fight COVID-19.

In a statement, EU Ambassador to ASEAN Igor Driesmans said ASEAN could count on the EU in difficult times, adding that the two are regional organisations bound by 42 years of solidarity and partnership.

By mobilising 350 million EUR in support of ASEAN countries, the EU is demonstrating its friendship with the people of the region, he said.

The funds will be allocated for addressing the health crisis, strengthening healthcare systems, and alleviating the economic and social impacts of the pandemic.

The EU will also help Vietnam introduce measures against the epidemic and soon realise the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.

Earlier, on April 4, the EU announced it would commit more than 20 billion EUR (21.7 billion USD) to support partner countries in the fight against COVID-19 under a programme called Team Europe.

It will distribute the funds to vulnerable countries in Africa, the western Balkans, eastern partner countries, the Middle East and North Africa, parts of Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

The EU also channelled some 48.5 million EUR (52.7 million USD) to fund 18 research projects on COVID-19, particularly those relating to protective equipment, to improve modelling of the spread of the virus, rapid diagnostic techniques, and treatments and vaccines./.