ADF (African Development Fund) grants of $9.52 million to raise responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in East Africa, the Horn and Comoros have been approved by the Board of Directors of ADF. The grant was approved by the Board of Directors of the Bank in April 2020 and is part of the 10 billion dollars of COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility which complements direct support for regional member states across the continent. This grant was authorized on 26 June.
The recipients include Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, Burundi and Comoros. The money would also be used to provide critical medical supplies and to train health staff, including test kits. The funds will be used to promote the monitoring of health care networks, strengthen infection prevention and control and enhance regional cooperation of transmission-cross-border transfers by the East African Community ( EAC) and the Intergovernmental Development Authority (IGAD).
Martha Phiri, Head of Human and Social Developments, said: “The ultimate goal of the project is to lower the incidence and mortality of COVID-19 pandemics and other outbreaks in the Eastern African region.”
The EAC Secretariat will receive $8.79 million in tranches of $8.16 million and $629,582 while $729, 581 will go to IGAD. In EAC / IGAD Member States, the World Health Organization will be the implementing body, while RECs will be directly responsible for carrying out cross-border action.
Eastern Countries and the Horn of Africa are applying stringent border-mitigation measures that have led to interference in people’s movement, trading flows and access to critical goods. Therefore, the Project would resolve these difficulties by the improvement of border crossing testing and case identification capability and better regional coordination. The project will also help the introduction of regional automated tracking systems by the EAC and the IGAD to promote cross-border monitoring. It would boost the ability of national bodies to tackle transmission across borders during possible pandemics.
The grants are aligned with the Bank ‘s High 5 priority commitments to improve African people’s quality of life and to promote regional integration. The funding is also firmly in line with the Global Strategy Paper on Eastern Africa, which calls for greater collaboration in global public goods management.
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As of 28 June, there had been a total number of 42,000 confirmed cases in 11 continental countries, with 265 cases in Comoros, of the 800,000 population.
Inputs from African Development Bank Group (AfDB)