The novel coronavirus outbreak has spread around the world, claiming the lives of thousands and crippling the economies of countries. In about three months, the virus has claimed over 12,000 lives. In order to combat the menace of the virus on the African continent, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Foundation launched an initiative. The initiative supports the implementation of the joint continental strategy for Covid-19, led by the African Union (AU) through the The Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
The initiative has seen the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations send a shipment of over 1.5 million laboratory diagnostic test kits and over 100 tons of infection prevention and control commodities, which were received by Africa CDC and the Government of Ethiopia on behalf of AU member states. The shipment, consisting of 20,000 laboratory diagnostic test kits, 100,000 medical masks, and 1,000 protective suits and face shields, is being distributed by Ethiopian Airlines to the AU member states.
The Director of Africa CDC, Dr. John Nkengasong, said, ‘This is a great honour and initiative and a great sign of solidarity that the world needs at this critical time. The test kits and other materials will support African countries in their fight against this outbreak. We are facing a humanitarian situation, an economic situation and a security situation in the continent and Africa CDC clearly applauds the initiative of the prime minister and the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations’.
The Permanent Representative of the Republic of Djibouti, Dean of African Diplomatic Corps and Chair of the AU Peace and Security Council, H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Idriss Farah said, ‘[W]e appeal to our ministries of health to ensure that these materials are distributed and used where they are most needed’.
Photo source: Narings – og fiskeridepartementet