The European Union announced Thursday that it would be sending 18 million euros ($20.7 million) to Iran in the first of several financial aid packages aimed at economically supporting the country under the weight of U.S. sanctions.
Thursday’s financial package is a chunk of a bigger package of 50 million euros it plans to provide Iran as part of the EU’s proposal to renew cooperation and engagement between Iran and the EU following the crumbling of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“With these measures, the EU demonstrates its support to the Iranian people and their peaceful and sustainable development. It encourages stronger involvement of all actors in Iran and in particular the private sector,” Neven Mimica, the EU’s commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, said in a statement.
The announcement is part of the EU’s effort to maintain the nuclear deal with Iran, formally the JCPOA, after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal in May.
The commission is allotting 8 million euros for Iran’s private sector specifically, and another 8 million euros toward technical support in environmental projects.
The remaining 2 million euros are planned for fighting drugs crime and harm caused by drugs.