Statement by the Secretary General of the ACP Group of States on the COVID-19 Pandemic

The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States shares the deep concerns expressed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), on the alarming spread and severity of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which is now posing a high risk at the global level.

The ACP Group of States is particularly concerned by the state of preparedness of at-risk countries, which are characterised as being those with low-income and/or weaker health systems, many of which are ACP Member States. Addressing health system challenges is the objective of the ongoing ACP Programme to Strengthen Health Systems for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in ACP States which is funded by the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), with the WHO as the main implementing Agency. In complementing the funds allocated to this Programme the ACP Group of States is collaborating, as a matter of urgency, with the European Union (EU) to mobilise a further € 25 million from the appropriate 11th EDF instrument, to be channeled through the WHO to:

  • support countries to accelerate the implementation of their National Action Plans for Health Security (NAPHS) through the strengthening of health systems; and
  • enhance country, regional and global health emergency preparedness beyond COVID-19.

The ACP Group of States, through its Secretariat, is following the guidance provided by the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium on the measures to be followed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ACP Secretariat has also provided appropriate guidance to its staff and visitors on the protective and preventative measures to undertake with respect to COVID-19. In this respect, the ACP Secretariat will be closed from 17 March to 3 April inclusive. Contact information in case of any emergency during this period will be provided on the ACP website at