African Union’s COVID-19 Response Initiative Receives $27.33 Million from AfDB
The African Development Bank granted $27.33 million to African Union to boost monetary support in the fight against COVID-19 across the continent.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) is set to financially support Africa Union’s (AU) COVID-19 Response Initiative across the continent. This support will complement various national and sub-regional operations financed by the AfDB under its COVID-19 Response Facility to support African countries to contain and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.
The African Development Bank’s grant financing will support the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) in providing technical assistance and building capacity for 37 African Development Fund (ADF) eligible countries, particularly the Transition States, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impact. The ADF is the Bank’s concessional window.
Pillars of AU’s Growth During the COVID-19: Institution, People, Delivery, and Sustainability
Following his bank’s decision to pledge $27.33 million to AU, AfDB President Adesina said:
“With this financing package, we are reaffirming our strong commitment to a coordinated African response in the face of the COVID-19. Most importantly, we are sending a strong signal that collectively, the continent can address the pandemic, which is straining health systems and causing unprecedented socio-economic impacts on the continent.”
Recently, AfDB President Adesina had outlined the four strategic pillars to get back on track.
The four strategic pillars are: ‘Institution’, ‘People’, ‘Delivery, and ‘Sustainability, that will drive five top-level goals that include deepening quality and impact; and maintaining financial sustainability.
Adesina had said, “We must help Africa build back boldly, but smartly…”
Following an extended meeting on 22 April 2020, the Bureau of the Conference of Heads of State and Government pledged strong support to AU’s COVID-19 initiative.
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The meeting was chaired by H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa and Chairperson of the AU. AfDB’s President, Akinwumi Adesina had also pledged strong support for the AU’s COVID-19 initiative.
The AU Bureau meeting called for contributions to the African Union’s COVID-19 Response Fund established by the AU Commission chairperson, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, in March 2020.
Sourced from the ADF’s Regional Operations/Regional Public Goods envelope and the Transition Support Facility, these two grants will support the implementation of Africa CDC’s COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness and Response Plan through:
- strengthening surveillance at various points of entry (air, sea, and land) in African countries;
- building sub-regional and national capacity for epidemiological surveillance; and
- ensuring the availability of testing materials and personal protective equipment for frontline workers deployed in hotspots.
The operation will also facilitate the collection of gender-disaggregated data and adequate staffing for Africa CDC’s emergency operations center.
At the beginning of February 2020, only two reference laboratories—in Senegal and in South Africa—could run tests for the COVID-19 on the continent. The Africa CDC, working with governments, the World Health Organization, and several development partners and public health institutes, have increased this capacity to 44 countries currently. Despite this progress, Africa’s testing capacity remains low, with the 37 ADF-eligible countries accounting for only 40% of completed COVID-19 tests to date.
Ms. Wambui Gichuri, Ag. VP Agriculture, Human and Social Development pinpoints to AU’s role in the COVID-19 initiative. Wambui says, “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.”
Source: African Development Bank Group (AfDB).