Africa

AU establishes COVID-19 Fund; seeks to raise $1M to support member states

The African Union has created a COVID-19 Response Fund with the aim of raising $1 million to boost the union’s response towards the COVID-19 fight in Africa.

The fund was established by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat.

This was made known in a press release published on the union’s website.

The Fund dubbed “Give A Little” has a target of raising the $1 million today, AU Day, May 25, 2020.

“This AfricaDay, 25 May, all Africans, people of African descent and friends of Africa are encouraged to “give a little” to the fund. A target of USD$1million has been set for the day. Contributions can be made in any currency and this will be automatically converted into United States dollars, which is the original currency of the Fund account.”

The release further noted that monies raised under the Fund will be used to mitigate the social, economic, and humanitarian impact of COVID-19 in all African countries.

“Money raised under the Fund will be used to mitigate the social, economic, and humanitarian impact of COVID-19 in all African countries. This is important because the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse the socio-economic advancements made by Africa in the last 30 years as the pandemic proves to be more severe on the socio-economic well-being of populations in Africa.”

According to the AU, part of the money raised will also be used to “Boost the capacity of the Africa CDC to support response to public health emergencies across the continent. Africa CDC was created to support efforts by the Member States to prepare for and respond to public health threats across the continent.”

“Its establishment followed the hard lessons from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014, which caused the loss of thousands of lives and had a heavy toll on the socio-economic well-being of individuals and groups in Africa. Part of this fund will be used to boost the capacity of Africa CDC to fully play its role as a continental public health institution as stated in its statute.”

According to the AU, some of the money will also be used, support the procurement and distribution of essential COVID-19 medical equipment and supplies and mobilize rapid response by the Member States.

“There is stiff competition on the world markets for the supply of COVID-19 response materials. This Fund will support pool procurement of diagnostics and other medical commodities by the Africa CDC for distribution to the Member States, and to support the deployment of one million community workers and community healthcare workers to support contact tracing,” the release further added.

Donations can be made at https://au.int/en/AUCOVID19ResponseFund.

Meanwhile, as of May 23, Africa had reported nearly 105, 000 cases of infection, nearly 4,000 deaths and 42,000 recoveries.

 

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