By Roy Mabasa
The French government has selected the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in the Philippines as one of the recipients of the 2 million euros funding to provide support for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response in at least five countries in Southeast Asia.
In a statement, the Embassy of France in Manila said the funding was awarded by the French Development Agency (AFD) on April 28, 2020, through the project called ECOMORE II (ECOnomic Development, ECOsystem MOdifications, & Emerging Infectious Diseases Risk Evaluation), which aims to support frontline laboratories in the fight against the COVID-19 in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
The funding for RITM will extend direct support for the response phase of the epidemic in the following aspects: reinforcement of equipment, purchase of diagnostic kits, acquisition of personal protective equipment, reinforcement in human resources, training and 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 (IRD) to strengthen the surveillance of the epidemic.
“The ECOMORE II project is a perfect illustration of the very vocation of the International Network of Pasteur Institutes which, in parallel with the work of its researchers around the world, is committed to the fight to protect people from emerging infectious diseases,” according to Professor Pierre-Marie Girard, International Director of the International Network of Pasteur Institutes.
The French Development Agency is mobilizing to respond to this global health emergency in line with the commitments made by French President Emmanuel Macron.
AFD Group is a public entity which finances, supports, and expedites the transition toward a more just and sustainable world. As a French overseas aid platform for sustainable development and investment, we and our partners create shared solutions, with and for the people of the global South.