AfDB Boosts Sudan’s Response To COVID-19 With $28.2m GrantAfrican News, Featured, Latest News, News, News Around Africa Friday, November 20th, 2020
(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved grants worth $28.233 million for Sudan to shore up the country’s health system to effectively respond and contain the vagaries of COVID-19 pandemic.
The grants which are being provided under the African Development Bank’s COVID-19 Response Facility is aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts of the killer virus and build resilience to future pandemics, including climate-induced outbreaks.
The AfDB is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities, the AfDB, the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF).
The bank is on the ground in 41 African countries with an external office in Japan and it contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.
The funding will take the form of an ADF grant of $26.47 million and a $1.764 million grant sourced from the bank’s Transitional Support Facility Envelope.
The project is aligned with the Government of Sudan’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan as well as the AfDB’s Ten-Year Strategy, and the High 5 agenda on Improving the Quality of Life for the People of Africa.
Moreover, it complements other COVID-19 response support that the bank is providing to the East African Community (EAC), the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) under the auspices of the African Union (AU).
AfDB’s Country Manager, Raubil Durowoju described the approval of the grants as a demonstration of the bank’s commitment to supporting the developmental strides of the Sudanese government.
“By this approval, the AfDB has shown continued commitment to empowering the people of Sudan to contain this pandemic while supporting the government of Sudan’s quest for economic development of its people”, he said.
Under the project, four components will be rolled out at national and regional levels which include, strengthening health systems and building resilience to respond to COVID-19 and future epidemics and pandemics, enhancing community engagement and risk communication, strengthening laboratory testing and surveillance, as well as project management.
The first component will include increasing Intensive Care Units (ICUs), medical equipment and infrastructure and the establishment of isolation centers. The second element will include sensitization and community engagement on mask wearing and other hygiene practices as well as anti-stigma efforts.
Similarly, the proposed laboratory testing and surveillance interventions include epidemiological surveillance and rapid response, as well as trainings and adoption of standard testing procedures. In addition, the fourth component is for the project’s recruitment, management and administrative functions.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects are expected to undo economic gains the country has made over the last five years as well as slow its economic recovery. Growth in 2020 is projected to contract by as much as 8.9 percent owing to the pandemic.
Sudan also faces high likelihood of increasing poverty, high youth unemployment and vulnerability to extreme climate events such as drought, desertification, deforestation and flooding.
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