The European Commission said Friday it would make one billion euros available to Romania to support the healthcare system and help it tackle the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, and Nicolas Schmit, the Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, said the funds were to help Romania offset the effects of the crisis which has had devastating effects on the economy.
The number of coronavirus cases jumped to 308 nationwide on Friday, with more people being tested.
The economy has suffered as malls, restaurants, mass gathering, sports events and shops have closed under a state of emergency decreed on Monday.
The Commission said that it would postpone a 483 million euros debt, representing unused structural funds, according to a post on the European Commission’s Facebook page Friday.
The Commission will also Romania 637 million euros advance for structural funds in March and April.
It said the funds were to support the health system, to finance the acquisition of of protection equipment, such as surgical masks and hazmat suits, for medicine and testing, and to adapt the healthcare services to serve vulnerable people.
The money is also to bail out small and medium-sized businesses “to soften the financial shock caused by the COVId-19 crisis.”
Small business have been the worst hit by the crisis, laying off tens of thousands of workers and saying they will have to declare bankruptcy.