The African Development Bank’s Board of Directors has approved an emergency project in support of three, low-income ECOWAS nations – Gambia, Mali and Niger – to bolster their health systems in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bank is making $22.4 million available for the project, approved by the Board on May 22. Part of the funding, $9.55 million, will provide screening tests, laboratory equipment, ventilators and personal protective equipment for medical personnel in the three countries.
The remaining $12.83 million will be used to strengthen and integrate the health systems of Gambia, Mali and Niger to better address the pandemic. It will help to coordinate and equip national teams, fit out health facilities, train health personnel, provide medical equipment and pharmaceuticals and help to establish early-warning systems.
The operation will be implemented by the West African Health Organization (WAHO), in accordance with the mandate to coordinate interventions accorded to it by ECOWAS heads of state and government at their extraordinary meeting of 23 April 2020 to harmonize the fight against the pandemic.