The African Development Bank has approved $27.4 million in grants to boost the African Union’s (AU) efforts to mobilize continental response to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With this financing package, we are reaffirming our strong commitment to a coordinated African response in the face of COVID-19, said African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina.
“Most importantly, we are sending a strong signal that collectively, the continent can address the pandemic in Africa, which is straining health systems and causing unprecedented socio-economic impacts on the continent.”
The bulk of the Bank’s grant financing for this operation, about $26.03 million, will help to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to respond to public health emergencies across the continent, while the balance of $1.37 million, will be a contribution to the AU COVID-19 Response Fund.
The approval comes on the heels of a meeting of the extended Bureau of the AU Conference of Heads of State and Government with Africa’s private sector on 22 April 2020, chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, who is the current chairperson of the AU.
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.
“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,” said Wambui Gichuri, Bank Ag. Vice President, Agriculture and Human Development.
This support will complement various national and sub-regional operations financed by the African Development Bank under its COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility to support African countries contain and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.