The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $2 million emergency assistance to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help contain the Covid-19 pandemic. In a statement issued through its Communication and External Relations Department, the AfDB noted that the funds will help mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
Stating that even though the pandemic was slow to arrive in Africa, the AfDB noted that Covid-19 was spreading quickly and straining already fragile health systems across the continent. The AfDB said that the $2 million is one of its interventions to help member countries and that WHO Africa Region will use the funds to bolster the capacity of 41 African countries in the areas of infection prevention, testing, and case management. According to the AfDB, the funds will also be used boost surveillance systems, procure and distribute laboratory test kits and reagents, and support coordination mechanisms at national and regional levels.
The AfDB said, ‘This grant will enable Regional Member Countries to put in place robust containment measures within 48 hours of Covid-19 case confirmation and also support the WHO Africa Region to disseminate information and increase public awareness in communities. The grant will contribute towards a $50 million WHO Preparedness and Response Plan, which other partners including the United Nations system, are also supporting. It is estimated that Africa will require billions of dollars to cushion the impact of the disease as many countries scramble together for contingency measures, including commercial lockdowns, in desperate efforts to contain it’.
‘The Bank Group is expected to unveil a financial assistance package that will enable governments and businesses to undertake flexible responses to lessen the economic and social impact of this pandemic’, the statement added.
Source: Premium Times
Photo source: Rwanda Government