AfDB approves Covid-19 grant for Zim and 5 Sadc states

29 Jun, 2020 - 14:06 0 Views
AfDB approves Covid-19 grant for Zim and 5 Sadc states

The Chronicle

Business Editor
THE board of directors of the African Development Fund has approved nearly US$8.9 million in grant funding to bolster Covid-19 related control measures in six Southern African Development Community (Sadc) countries including Zimbabwe.

Separately, the regional bank’s board also approved $683,000 in grants to São Tomé & Príncipe, to support the two-island nation’s response to the pandemic and its impacts. The grant funding comes under the bank’s Covid-19 response facility.

In a statement AfDB said the funds will facilitate the procurement of laboratory and medical supplies, including testing kits, personal protective gear and non-invasive ventilators in Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, all Sadc nations. The Sadc Secretariat is the recipient and the implementing agency of the grant.

“The financing will reinforce the Sadc’s capacity to coordinate pandemic response measures, including surveillance and sensitization in the six beneficiary countries,” said the bank.

“The Sadc countries and São Tomé & Príncipe have inadequate resources and capacity to effectively manage the Covid-19 pandemic, which has put a strain on already fragile health systems in the countries.

“As a result, these countries are now struggling to respond effectively to the fast-evolving situation posed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the bank noted.

Although the spread of Covid-19 has been slow in Africa, AfDB said the pandemic continues to steadily spread through the continent, leaving in its wake disruptions and hardship caused by economic lockdowns.

The pandemic is projected to have a substantial economic impact on the Sadc member countries. For instance, real GDP in all the Sadc countries, except Zimbabwe, is forecast to contract in 2020, said the bank.

The approved project aligns with two of the bank’s High Five priority areas: improving the quality of life for the people of Africa and integrating Africa, as well as the Sadc Disaster Preparedness and Response Mechanism to fight disasters and pandemics.

The 16-nation Sadc region had recorded around 120,000 Covid-19 cases out of a continent-wide total of 325,000 cases as of 24 June 2020. Reported cases in São Tomé and Príncipe stood at about 700, in a population of around 211,000 people.

Share This: