NATIONAL NEWS - African Union Chairperson, President Cyril Ramaphosa, says while the African Union COVID-19 Response Fund has to date raised USD 44 million - more still needs to be done.
“I want to thank all the countries on the continent who have contributed, as well as our donor community partners and the continental and international business fraternity.
"However, we need to raise at least a further USD 300 million to ensure assistance is provided to societies and countries in need, and to enable us to weather the health and economic storm in the weeks, months and years ahead,” said the President.
The call for more funds was made by the President during the virtual fund-raising webinar for the AU COVID-19 Response Fund on Saturday.
Established in April this year, the Fund was set up to mitigate the social, economic and humanitarian impact of the pandemic across the continent. It is a financial instrument to mobilise and manage funds from the private sector and other stakeholders.
The Fund also supports the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention – Africa CDC – which plays a key role in the continental response.
With eight months since the first reported case of Coronavirus on the African continent, over one million people have been infected with the virus in Africa, and close to 28 000 people have lost their lives.
“This pandemic will continue to be with us for a long time to come. Its effects on human health, on our societies and on our economies have been dire, and we are only now starting to fully comprehend the scale of the devastation.
“For us to continue to with prevention efforts, health care and case management for our people, the Fund has to mobilise additional resources as quickly as possible,” said the President.
With the search for the COVID-19 vaccine still ongoing, President Ramaphosa said the need for funds is critical as the continent will need substantial resources to ensure equitable access for all African countries.
“I call on both our first time donors and those who have pledged their support previously to give generously to the Fund.
“In doing so, you are not just making a contribution to overcoming this current emergency – you are also making a solid investment in Africa’s recovery and in her future,” said President Ramaphosa. – SAnews.gov.za