The African Development Bank’s Board of Directors (www.AfDB.org) on Wednesday approved $27.33 million in grants to boost the African Union’s (AU) efforts to mobilize a continental response to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AU Bureau meeting called for contributions to the African Union’s COVID-19 Response Fund established by the AU Commission chairperson, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, in March 2020.

The Bank’s grant financing will support the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) in providing technical assistance and building capacity for 37 African Development Fund (ADF) eligible countries, particularly the Transition States, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impact. The ADF is the Bank’s concessional window.

At the beginning of February 2020, only two reference laboratories—in Senegal and in South Africa—could run tests for COVID-19 on the continent. The Africa CDC, working with governments, the World Health Organization, and several development partners and public health institutes, have increased this capacity to 44 countries currently. Despite this progress, Africa’s testing capacity remains low, with the 37 ADF-eligible countries accounting for only 40% of completed COVID-19 tests to date.

This support will complement various national and sub-regional operations financed by the African Development Bank under its COVID-19 Response Facility to support African countries to contain and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic

Source:venturesafrica.com