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Fund launched to support Covid-19 efforts in Africa

Continent must help itself since traditional donors’ are focusing elsewhere, says SA president

The African Union and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have launched a fund through which African companies and governments can contribute to the continent’s Covid-19 response.

The Africa Covid-19 Response Fund aims to raise US$150 million for immediate needs to prevent transmission, US$170m to prevent deaths, US$30m to prevent social harm, and US$50 to provide economic support for vulnerable populations.  

Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president who is currently chairing the African Union, said Africa needed to help itself given that many of its traditional development partners were focusing on fighting the disease on their home fronts. 

“Other regions in the world are already paying a heavy tribute to Covid 19 and their support will be limited. Therefore African money and African expertise must be mobilised,” he said on 7 April announcing the fund. 

The Africa CDC will determine the fund’s priorities. It will be overseen by an advisory board with participants from public and private sectors. A number of African governments have already contributed to the fund, as have several African banks and private sector actors.