The African Union has created an AU COVID-19 Response Fund with the aim of raising $1m towards the fight of the killer virus on the continent.
The fund will also strengthen the continental response to the pandemic and mitigate its socio-economic and humanitarian impact on African populations.
The fund was established by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat and made known in a Press release.
The releases added that “the Africa Day, 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.
Donations can be made at https://au.int/en/AUCOVID19ResponseFund.
The statement added that 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.
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.
Also, the fund will support the procurement and distribution of essential COVID-19 medical equipment and supplies and mobilize rapid response by the Member States.
This Fund the statement said 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.
As of May 24, Africa had reported nearly 105 000 cases of infection, nearly 4000 deaths and 42 000 recoveries.