The European Union (EU) has donated EUR 10 million for Africa to respond to COVID-19 pandemic, Ambassador Ranieri Sabatucci, Head of the EU Delegation to the African Union, and Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, made the announcement on Friday.
The EUR 10 million grant provided by Team Europe will be followed in the coming weeks by additional fund (at least EUR 15 million) and/or material support to reinforce Africa’s response to the pandemic, Africa CDC said.
“Global solidarity is key to fighting COVID-19. This is why in these difficult times partnership between Team Europe and the African Union is as strong and reliable as ever” said Ambassador Ranieri Sabatucci. “The European experience is teaching us that a continental approach is essential to fight COVID-19 and the Africa CDC is in a privileged position to coordinate a continental response for Africa, thanks to its solid experience in dealing with epidemics.”
With this contribution, Africa CDC will provide in-country training on surveillance to healthcare workers and rapid responders in 30 African Union Member States, prioritizing those with significant community transmission, Africa CDC said in a statement.
“In the next four months, Africa CDC will support at least 90 in-country cascade and 40 virtual training workshops, and the deployment of 3000 community healthcare workers in these 30 countries to enhance their capacity for early detection, effective monitoring, and contact tracing so they can contain the spread of the virus. It will support the deployment of 180 rapid responders with expertise in surveillance, laboratory, and case management to 25 other African Union Member States to address the immediate needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Africa CDC said.
In addition, the fund will contribute to strengthening the coordination function of the Africa Continental Taskforce for Coronavirus (AFTCOR), an implementing instrument of the Joint Continental Strategy, and implementation of the Test, Trace and Treat initiative, also known as the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT).
“This pandemic is a global challenge and it requires everybody working together with a unique level of cooperation. We need to quickly scale up testing and contact tracing, we must deploy more healthcare workers and keep feeding the supply chain component. All these require strong partnerships. We deeply appreciate this timely contribution by the European Union towards achieving the goals of PACT in Africa,” said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC.