$27 Million Expended by the African Development Bank to Strengthen Africa Union’s COVID-19 Response Initiative
By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone– On the 24th July 2020, the African Development Bank endorsed $27.4 million in grants to improve the African Union’s (AU) undertakings to marshal continental retort to deter the Novel Coronavirus Virus (COVID-19) plague.
The authorization reaches on consensus at a committee of the expansive Bureau of the African Union Conference of Heads of State and Government with Africa’s special sector on 22nd April 2020, presided by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, who is the recent chairperson of the AU. African Development Bank President – Akinwumi Adesina, who heeded the meeting swore robust backing for the AU COVID-19 initiative.
In addition, the African Union Bureau conference yelled for contributions to the African Union’s COVID-19 Response Fund solidified by the AU Commission Chairperson, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, in March, 2020. Pronouncing after the Board authorization of this operation, Adesina stated: “With this financing package, we are reaffirming our strongng commitment to a coordinated African response strong of COVID-19. Most importantly, we are sending a strong signal that collectively, the continent can address the pandemic in Africa, which is straining health systems and causing unprecedented socio-economic impacts on the continent.”
The majority of the Bank’s grant financing for this an operation, about $26.03 million, will help to bolster the institutional capacity of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to respond to public health emergencies across the continent, while the balance of $1.37 million, will be a contribution to the AU COVID-19 Response Fund.
The two grants, from the Bank’s concessional window, the African Development Fund, and the Transition Support Facility, will support the implementation of Africa CDC’s COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness and Response Plan through strengthening supervision at several points of entry (air, sea, and land) in African countries; building sub-regional and national capacity for epidemiological surveillance; and ensuring the availability of personal protective equipment for frontline workers deployed in hotspots and testing materials. The operation will also facilitate collective on of gender-disaggregated data, and adequate staffing for Africa CDC’s emergency operations center.
At the advent of February 2020, barely two location laboratories in Senegal and South Africa could run tests for COVID-19 on the continent. The Africa CDC, working with governments, the WHO, and several development partners and public health institutes, have boosted this capacity to forty four countries. Irrespective of this improvement, Africa’s testing capacity stays at less than 600 per one million people correlated to 50,000 in Europe.
“Our response today and support to the African Union is timely and will play a crucial role in helping Africa look inward for solutions to build resilience to this pandemic and future outbreaks,” noted Wambui Gichuri, Bank Acting Vice President, Agriculture, and Human Development.
This assistance will fill out diverse national and, sub-regional operations subsidized by the African Development Bank under its COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility to support African countries comprise and mitigate the consequences of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic.
For New Africa Business News (NABN) Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent
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