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GE and Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Successfully Restore up to 360MW in Nigeria Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic
September 29, 2020 | 0 Comments
“PSP31318-10, 9E 3-series Gas Turbine, Compressor, IGV in casing – fully open, People, Belfort, France, Europe, DI-3200×4900, PRA”
With compressive safety measures due to COVID-19 in place, GE and NDPHC quickly ensured both employee safety and on-time project execution.

GE safely completed service interventions on three GE 9E gas turbines at the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) power plants in Calabar and Sapele, Nigeria; With compressive safety measures due to COVID-19 in place, GE and NDPHC quickly ensured both employee safety and on-time project execution; Outages were executed on time and the restored power will enable NDPHC to provide the equivalent electricity needed to power up to 2 million Nigerian homes.

GE (NYSE: GE) today announced the successful rehabilitation of three 9E.03 gas turbines, at three Niger Delta Power Holding Company’s (NDPHC) Power Plants in Calabar and Sapele, Nigeria. These operations reduced the risk of unplanned downtime of its power generation equipment, enabling the plants to reliably secure and restore the supply of up to 360 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the national grid, the equivalent electricity needed to power approximately two million Nigerian homes. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, GE and NDPHC worked together to swiftly implement safety procedures to ensure a safe and on-time execution.

“Being Nigeria’s largest electricity generating company, with a total installed capacity of 4.0 gigawatts (GW), representing about 35% of Nigeria’s generating capacity, we are committed to strengthening Nigeria’s power sector, despite the unexpected logistical challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Chiedu Ugbo, Managing Director, NDPHC. “GE’s efficiency to mobilize local teams on-site with the required technical skills and expertise, as well as GE’s global supply chain scale was crucial to ensure the timely and safe completion of the outages at the sites and help us achieve our goal.”

The outages involved stage three bucket changeouts on three 9E gas turbines as well as additional combustion inspections. Engineers from GE and FieldCore, the field services execution company owned by GE, worked together and in close collaboration with NDPHC  to implement additional safety measures and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, including frequent disinfections at the site, physical distancing, standard passive and active temperature screenings for personnel, and the use of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves.

“We are committed to supporting power plant operators like NDPHC to be able to provide reliable power with exceptional support and services from GE throughout these uncertain times, while ensuring and maintaining the health and safety of our employees and suppliers.” said Elisee Sezan, CEO for GE’s Gas Power business in Sub-Saharan Africa. “The successful rehabilitation of the power generations assets at Calabar and Sapele plants will help increase the 9E gas turbines’ efficiency, while lowering emissions and providing essential power for industrialization, healthcare facilities, homes, schools and businesses.”

This year, GE’s 9E gas turbine fleet celebrates 40 years of operations globally. The 9E is a robust, proven platform that delivers high availability, reliability, and durability while lowering the overall cost-per-kilowatt. It has a large installed base of over 650 units in the world located primarily in Asia, China, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

GE has been collaborating with energy stakeholders to deploy innovative technologies tailored to respond to the needs in the region since the 1950s with reliable baseload and flexible emergency power. In 2018, the company celebrated its 100th power plant in Sub-Saharan Africa and today, up to 17 GW of gas power generation on the grid runs on GE gas turbines. GE delivers across the entire energy ecosystem from generation to transmission and distribution and throughout Nigeria, GE-built technologies are supported by local service and maintenance teams from the company to ensure access to reliable and sustainable energy.

GE Gas Power is a world leader in natural gas power technology, services and solutions. Through relentless innovation and continuous partnership with our customers, we are providing more advanced, cleaner and efficient power that people depend on today and building the energy technologies of the future. With the world’s largest installed base of gas turbines and more than 600 million operating hours across GE’s installed fleet, we offer advanced technology and a level of experience that’s unmatched in the industry to build, operate and maintain leading gas power plants

*SOURCE GE
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EU provides over USD 16.5 million for the most vulnerable in Zimbabwe
July 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Janez Lenarčič, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management

The European Union has further increased its support towards the most vulnerable in Zimbabwe by providing an additional EUR 14.2 million (approximately USD 16.63 million) to help support people in need dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, extreme weather conditions – such as persistent drought in the region – and other crises.

 Janez Lenarčič, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, said: “The EU is helping to provide life-saving assistance to impoverished households suffering from crop and livestock losses due to drought. The aid package will also strengthen the preparation and response to the coronavirus pandemic for countries in the region. In parallel, the EU is helping communities better prepare for natural hazards and reduce their impact.”

The additional support to Zimbabwe is part of a €64.7 million (approximately USD 75.78 million) package that the European Union’s Department for Humanitarian Aid provides for countries in the southern Africa region.

 Other countries that benefit are Angola (€3 million), Botswana (€1.95 million), Comoros (€500,000), Eswatini (€2.4 million), Lesotho (€4.8 million), Madagascar (€7.3 million), Malawi (€7.1 million), Mauritius (€250,000), Mozambique (€14.6 million), Namibia (€2 million) and Zambia (€5 million) A further €1.6 million is allocated to regional disaster preparedness actions.

  The funding will target food assistance to vulnerable households and helping farmers in the affected areas restore their means of subsistence, coronavirus prevention and preparedness actions to support local health systems and facilitate access to health care, protective equipment, sanitation and hygiene, disaster preparedness projects that also cover new needs brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

 They include strengthening early warning systems and evacuation plans for communities at risk of natural hazards, and having emergency stocks of personal protective equipment, support for children’s education and providing training to teaching staff. The humanitarian aid funding announced this week comes on top of the more than €67 million allocated to the region in 2019 by the European Union’s Department for Humanitarian Aid following the impact of the two cyclones, drought, and the economic and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.

 The southern Africa region has had just one normal rainy season in the last five years, with the last quarter of 2019 being one of the ten driest since 1981 for most areas, causing large-scale livestock losses and damaging harvests. In many places, the current growing season is exceptionally hot and dry, while in several other parts of the region, erratic rains risk undermining harvests in 2020. In some countries, this burden comes on top of already-crippling economic woes. The corona virus pandemic is likely to compound already significant humanitarian needs in the region.

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Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF) to Host a Webinar on Making Deals Post Covid-19
July 22, 2020 | 0 Comments
The event will be exploring the deals that are set to shape up the post-Covid-19 German-African economic and business relations.

While Covid-19 has hit world markets very hard, African economies are showing more resilience than others. Out of the 37 countries escaping recession this year, 22 are Africans according to the IMF’s latest forecasts. Post Covid-19, Africa will remain the fastest growing region in the world, and one where a new world also means new deals. German companies have increasingly made successful business in Africa over the recent past, and opportunities for German businesses and public sector companies will only grow as Africa builds sustainability and cleaner energy mixes in a post Covid-19 world.

To explore the opportunities offered to German companies in a post Covid-19 Africa, the Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF) will be organizing an exclusive webinar in cooperation with Africa Oil & Power on Aug. 6, 2020 at 4 p.m. South Africa Standard Time. The event will be exploring the deals that are set to shape up the post-Covid-19 German-African economic and business relations. Key confirmed participants include, among others, NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber and CEO of the Centurion Law Group; Sebastian Wagner, Co-Founder of the GABF and Executive Director at DMWA Resources; and Tim Gengnagel, Deal Accelerator at Rwanda Development Boar.

“Covid-19 has shown us how quickly the world can be brought to a standstill and how fragile the current global economy is. In such times of crisis, it is especially important to show solidarity and fight the virus together,” said Sebastian Wagner, Co-Founder of the GABF. “Nevertheless, the crisis should not be seen in a purely negative light. Instead, we should use the time of deceleration to reflect on the mistakes of the past and thus build the foundations for a more stable network between Germany and Africa,” he added.

The webinar will put a specific focus on digitalization and energy transition, two major pillars on which the economic and investment cooperation between Germany and Africa is expected to grow in the future.

Register for the webinar here

Date & Time: Aug. 6, 2020 at 4 p.m. South Africa Standard Time
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF).
About the Germany Africa Business Forum:
The Germany Africa Business Forum (GABF) is a private think tank whose goal is to strengthen investment ties between Germany and Africa. As a “private for privates”, the GABF encourages German investors to consider the African continent as a profitable and important investment destination.

*SOURCE Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF)
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Japan donates over $600,000 to combat terrorism in Mozambique
July 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge dos Santos

The government of Japan will disburse $643,000 to combat terrorism through development projects aimed at promoting peace among vulnerable groups directly affected by armed attacks in Cabo Delgado province, extreme north of Mozambique.

With the project, the Japanese government hopes to promote peace mechanisms, social cohesion and conflict prevention by strengthening institutional capacity, awareness, community involvement and livelihoods in Cabo Delgado.

“Poverty and marginalisation are some of the risk factors that may increase instability in the province. Therefore, our government has decided to support mainly displaced population groups and communities with existing tensions due to violent conflicts,” said the Japanese Ambassador in Mozambique, Kimura Hajime.

He noted that the initiative will improve awareness of violence prevention and livelihood capacity in Cabo Delgado, saying “through this project we will support about 3,200 families, about 16,000 people”.

The implementation of the project will be coordinated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Ministry of Interior; the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM); and the Ministry of State Administration and Public Service (MAEFP).

The UNDP Representative in Mozambique, Francisco Roquette, said that the project should help young people and women, having as main focus three pillars namely resilience, socio-economic integration and social cohesion.

“We want to empower and promote opportunities above all for young people and women who, despite being the most vulnerable to conflict, have the greatest potential to promote significant and lasting impact changes in Cabo Delgado province,” he said.

The permanent secretary of the Interior Ministry, Zefanias Muhate, acknowledged that Cabo Delgado has been the scene of terrorist actions that undermine the country’s development. He expressed his appreciation for the initiative saying it adds value to the government’s peacekeeping efforts in the province.

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Malawi’s New President Pledges Support To Mozambique In Fight Against Terrorist Attacks
July 8, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge dos Santos

Malawi’s new President, Lazarus Chakwera, condemned the armed attacks in Northern Mozambique

Malawi’s new President, Lazarus Chakwera has condemned the armed attacks in northern Mozambique and expressed his willingness to help bring peace to the country, according to a statement from the Mozambican Presidency.

Lazarus Chakwera repudiated the violence in the north, during a telephone conversation with his Mozambican counterpart, Filipe Nyusi, indicated the note published on Monday night.

The two heads of state expressed their desire to focus attention on cooperation in defence and security with a view to combating armed violence in Cabo Delgado province, which has already caused the deaths of over 1,000 people.

On 27 June five terrorists killed eight people in an ambush against a vehicle of the company Fenix Construction Services that is working in Palma district where the complex to liquefy natural gas in being built on the Afungi Peninsula.

According to a press release from the company, the ambush took place about four kilometres north of the town of Mocimboa da Praia. Of the 14 people on board the vehicle, eight lost their lives, three managed to escape unharmed, and three are missing.

The survivors said that the attackers wore military uniforms similar to those of the Mozambican armed forces. They blocked the vehicle and then opened fire, killing the driver instantly. As the vehicle came to a halt, the three known survivors managed to scramble out and fled into the bush.

One of them walked through the bush to the village of Quelimane, where he spent the night. The following day he got a lift from a motorbike and returned to Palma on 28 June.

The other two survivors remained hidden in the bush for several more days. One returned to Palma on 1 July, and the other on 2 July.

A private security company hired by Fenix recovered the bodies of the eight murdered men, who were buried in Palma on 3 July.

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New Agreements to Expand Access to 20 Lifesaving Cancer Medicines for Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia
June 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

Cancer Access Partnership is expected to result in a 59 percent savings on procured cancer medicines

This collaboration has the potential to drastically impact access to care and save countless lives, says William G. Cance, MD FACS, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, American Cancer Society
This collaboration has the potential to drastically impact access to care and save countless lives, says William G. Cance, MD FACS, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) today announced agreements with pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, Novartis, and Mylan to expand access to 20 lifesaving cancer treatments in 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Purchasers are expected to save an average of 59 percent for medicines procured through the agreements.

“With the rapidly growing burden of cancer in Africa, it is crucial that we improve and expand access to high-quality, affordable treatment. These agreements build on those announced in 2017 that have already delivered substantial savings and increased treatment availability in several countries, including Nigeria. By targeting the treatment needed for the cancers that cause the most deaths, these new agreements will help us to improve on quality of lives and close the mortality gap for Africans with cancer,” said Professor Isaac Adewole, co-chair, African Cancer Coalition and former Health Minister of Nigeria.

Medications included in the agreements cover recommended regimens for 27 types of cancer and enable complete chemotherapy regimens for the three cancers that cause the most deaths in Africa—breast, cervical, and prostate. These cancers are highly treatable and account for 38 percent of cancers in the countries covered in the agreements. The new agreements include both chemotherapies and endocrine therapies aligned to evidence-based guidelines harmonized for sub-Saharan Africa, and expand access to additional formulations, including those essential for treating childhood cancer.

“With cancer cases increasing at such a rapid rate in sub-Saharan Africa, access to affordable cancer treatment that meets the quality standards set by a stringent regulatory authority is imperative,” said William G. Cance, MD FACS, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, American Cancer Society. “This collaboration has the potential to drastically impact access to care and save countless lives.”

Sub-Saharan Africa’s cancer burden is significant and growing. In 2018, there were an estimated 811,000 new cases of cancer and 534,000 deaths from cancer in the region. Cancer patients in sub-Saharan Africa are twice as likely to die as those in the United States, often due to late diagnosis and lack of access to treatment. Based on population aging alone, annual cancer deaths in sub-Saharan Africa are projected to almost double by 2030. The new agreements reach 23 countries in Africa, covering 74 percent of the annual cancer cases.

The collaboration is a significant step in delivering high-quality cancer treatment to more patients, bringing us closer to equitable cancer treatment for all people says, Dr. Iain Barton, Chief Executive Officer of CHAI
The collaboration is a significant step in delivering high-quality cancer treatment to more patients, bringing us closer to equitable cancer treatment for all people says, Dr. Iain Barton, Chief Executive Officer of CHAI

The new initiative includes Pfizer, Novartis, and Mylan, and will expand access to the priority medications and formulations in the agreements to additional countries. All of the medications included in the agreements meet the quality standards set by a stringent regulatory authority such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA). These medicines will be available for purchase at newly and independently negotiated prices in the designated countries, and the companies have committed to monitoring the impact of their respective agreements with CHAI.

This new Cancer Access Partnership is an initiative of Allied Against Cancer and an expansion of the Chemotherapy Access Partnership. ACS and CHAI began working together in 2015 to improve care and treatment of cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, working with governments and cancer treatment institutions to address market inefficiencies, improve supply chains, and increase procurement to ensure quality medications were available at affordable prices. This collaboration has shown that access to high-quality cancer treatments can be expanded in a sustainable way.

Dr. Iain Barton, Chief Executive Officer of CHAI stated, “While we have made strides in increasing access to lifesaving cancer treatments in sub-Saharan Africa over the last several years, there is much more work to be done. This collaboration is a significant step in delivering high-quality cancer treatment to more patients, bringing us closer to equitable cancer treatment for all people.”

In 2017, Allied Against Cancer members ACS and CHAI announced agreements with Pfizer and Cipla to expand access to 16 essential cancer treatment medications in six countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The market access agreements secured competitive prices, allowing these governments to realize substantial savings and improve the quality and quantity of treatment available. As a result of the agreements, several African governments and hospitals increased their commitment to procuring necessary cancer medicines by using the cost savings to increase the volumes of medicines procured, setting up innovative systems to supply high-quality cancer medications, and increasing budgets for cancer care and treatment. Countries that accessed products through the agreements saved an average of 56 percent. As a result, patients have new levels of access to quality chemotherapies in nearly all of the countries included in the original agreements. Three new countries were added in November 2019.

Since entering into partnership with CHAI and ACS in 2017, we have seen the positive impact that sustainable access to quality, affordable cancer medicines can have on patients in vulnerable communities in Africa, says Rhulani Nhlaniki, Pfizer Cluster Lead for sub-Saharan Africa and Country Manager, South Africa
Since entering into partnership with CHAI and ACS in 2017, we have seen the positive impact that sustainable access to quality, affordable cancer medicines can have on patients in vulnerable communities in Africa, says Rhulani Nhlaniki, Pfizer Cluster Lead for sub-Saharan Africa and Country Manager, South Africa

“Since entering into partnership with CHAI and ACS in 2017, we have seen the positive impact that sustainable access to quality, affordable cancer medicines can have on patients in vulnerable communities in Africa,” said Rhulani Nhlaniki, Pfizer Cluster Lead for sub-Saharan Africa and Country Manager, South Africa. “We remain committed to this model that helps to reduce the overwhelming burden on patients and healthcare systems, and we are pleased to be able to expand our chemotherapy offerings under the program to better serve the needs of patients.”

“Novartis is reimagining medicine and access to healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa with the patient at the center of everything we do,” said Racey Muchilwa, Head of Novartis sub-Saharan Africa. “This agreement is an important step to provide lifesaving medicines to more cancer patients across Africa. Having personally seen the growing toll cancer takes on the patients and many affected families in Africa, I am very excited about this collaboration of multiple stakeholders to dramatically improve access to cancer medicines in many countries.”

Novartis is reimagining medicine and access to healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa with the patient at the center of everything we do, says  Racey Muchilwa, Head of Novartis sub-Saharan Africa
Novartis is reimagining medicine and access to healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa with the patient at the center of everything we do, says Racey Muchilwa, Head of Novartis sub-Saharan Africa

“Mylan is proud to join CHAI, ACS and this important group of industry stakeholders to help expand access to critical medicines for oncology patients. Mylan has a long-standing commitment to support those impacted by non-communicable diseases, including cancer, which significantly impact low- and middle-income countries. We look forward to continuing to do our part by expanding access to treatment through initiatives like the Cancer Access Partnership and working with all involved in the healthcare system to help serve the community,” said Rakesh Bamzai, President, India and Emerging Markets, Mylan.

The market access agreements are part of a broader effort to improve access to quality cancer care in Africa. In 2019, ACS, CHAI, the African Cancer Coalition, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), and IBM joined to form Allied Against Cancer. This coalition is leveraging the strengths of each organization to connect with and empower the African oncology community to deliver high-quality cancer care and is working to pursue additional market-based collaborations to increase access to cancer medicines in the region.

NCCN, ACS, and CHAI are also working with the African Cancer Coalition, which comprises 110 leading oncologists from 13 African countries, to adapt the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) to create the NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for Sub-Saharan Africa. These NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for Sub-Saharan Africa outline pragmatic approaches that provide effective treatment options to improve the quality of care in resource-constrained settings and are available free of charge to health care providers on www.nccn.org/harmonized. IBM and ACS also developed ChemoSafe, a suite of training resources for regional healthcare personnel to guide the safe transportation, storage, administration and disposal of hazardous drugs.

The countries included in the agreements are: Botswana, Cameroon, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, in Africa; and Vietnam, India, and Myanmar in Asia. Oncologists, government officials, and nonprofit organizations in many of these countries contributed to these agreements by sharing information and feedback to the CHAI team.

You can learn more about the Chemotherapy Access Partnership and see medicines available by country here: www.alliedagainstcancer.org/access-partnership

About the Team

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the only organization attacking cancer from every angle. The Society also works in low- and middle-income countries to expand access to high-quality chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and pain relief, as well as getting patients diagnosed and into treatment earlier. For more information go to www.cancer.org. ACS does not endorse any product or service nor any particular brand of cancer drugs. ACS is not a provider of medical services and is not responsible for any drugs, screening, diagnosis, or medical treatment.

The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease in low-and middle-income countries. We work with our partners to strengthen the capabilities of governments and the private sector to create and sustain high-quality health systems that can succeed without our assistance. Learn more at: clintonhealthaccess.org.         

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at www.Pfizer.com. In addition, to learn more, please visit us on www.pfizer.com and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Pfizer.

Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 145 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at
https://www.novartis.com.

Mylan is a global pharmaceutical company committed to setting new standards in healthcare. Working together around the world to provide 7 billion people access to high-quality medicine, we innovate to satisfy unmet needs; make reliability and service excellence a habit; do what’s right, not what’s easy; and impact the future through passionate global leadership. We offer a portfolio of more than 7,500 marketed products around the world, including antiretroviral therapies on which approximately 40% of people being treated for HIV/AIDS globally depend. We market our products in more than 165 countries and territories. We are one of the world’s largest producers of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Every member of our approximately 35,000-strong workforce is dedicated to creating better health for a better world, one person at a time. Learn more at Mylan.com. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at investor.mylan.com.

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International community shows strong support for Sudan with $1.8 billion pledge
June 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

Over $1.8 billion dollars in pledges for Sudan poured in during a high-level Sudan Partnership Conference held on Thursday, 25 June 2020, marking an important step in the African nation’s re-engagement with the international community.

African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina, and the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund chiefs attended the Conference, which was co-hosted by the Republic of the Sudan, the Federal Republic of Germany, the European Union and the United Nations, and held virtually in Berlin. Other participants included delegations from 50 countries and international organisations.

“This Conference signals the strong and full return of Sudan to the international community, “ said Abdalla Hamdok, Prime Minister of the Republic of the Sudan, as he outlined the progress of the nation from war, conflicts, economic collapse and isolation, to relinking with the rest of the world. Hamdok said the meeting was convened for an open exchange of views to support “a comprehensive home-grown policy reform agenda.”

In turn, governments and delegations expressed their support for the Transitional Government headed by Prime Minister Hamdok, pledging unprecedented support to help Sudan achieve its goals for a free, peaceful, just, inclusive and prosperous nation, and to mitigate the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Conference acknowledged the urgent need to support Sudan in addressing its acute economic crisis, which has been exacerbated by the additional challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many participants also called for debt relief for the country.

 “The level of participation is unprecedented. This is a tide of support and solidarity we are hoping for,” Hamdok said. “Thank you so much, thank you friends.”

H.E. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations said the world needed to “mobilise massive financial support for Sudan. The world needs a stable Sudan, a democratic Sudan…I’d like to see all nations united in support for Sudan,” Gutteres said.

The Transitional Government of Sudan has prioritized economic reforms and the recovery of assets stolen by its previous leaders, both domestically and internationally. It has made reviving productive sectors of the economy, job creation and inclusive and sustainable peace, the cornerstones of its reform process.

Opening the conference, Heiko Maas, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany said it was “a responsibility to stand by the people of Sudan and their revolution. “You have done a remarkable job of leading the country through the transition so far. I offer you Germany’s full support.”

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, spoke with similar sentiment, describing Sudan as a light of hope in Africa.

“The EU stands ready to assist Sudan. It is an investment worth making in the region…in order to set a reference for the world.”

The programme also featured a panel session comprising Sudanese Finance Minister, Ibrahim el-Badawi; Lena el-Sheikh Mahjoub, Minister of Labour and Social Development; African Development Bank President Akinwuni Adesina; President of the World Bank Group, David Malpass; and Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, on the theme of supporting Sudan’s economic reform agenda.

The pledged funding contributions will support Sudan’s Transitional Government in meeting its priorities and launching of a formal process of political support for democratic reforms, peace, and the economic reform agenda. Much of the support will be earmarked for the Family Support Programme, which will provide humanitarian and social support and relief for close to 80% of the country’s population, 40 % of whom are unemployed.

“The African Development Bank has always been with Sudan from the very beginning. We never left Sudan for one day, even all the while that it was under economic sanctions. That is because we believe in Sudan,” Adesina said in remarks at the panel discussion. ““We provided, from our African Development Fund, $445 million dollars that we have for arrears clearance, which includes Sudan and Zimbabwe, and we are working very closely on that with many of you, including the World Bank and IMF.”

Minister Borrel said participants agreed on the need to hold a follow-up Partnership Conference in early 2021, in close cooperation with the Government of Sudan and the group of the “Friends of Sudan.” These include France, which has offered to host a high-level conference to launch the debt relief process for Sudan, allowing the full reintegration of Sudan into the international economic community.

Adesina said the African Development Bank has earmarked about $115 million in grants for the next three years to finance public sector projects and programs in Sudan, in addition to about $215 million grants provided in the last three years. Specifically, the Bank will support Sudan to strengthen its health care systems with a grant of about $30 million to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

*AFDB

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World Bank earmarks US$1bn for DR Congo health, education
June 16, 2020 | 0 Comments
President Felix Tshisekedi’s promise to provide free primary education has been estimated to cost $2.6 billion — between 40 and 50 percent of the state budget.

The World Bank has approved US$1 billion in grants and loans to promote free primary education and access to health care in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The bank’s board of executive directors approved $800 million to help support free primary education in the DRC’s poorest provinces, mainly in the east and centre of the country and the capital Kinshasa.

The funding comprises credit of $444 million and a grant of $356 million, it said in a statement received Tuesday.

In another decision approved on Monday, $200 million was approved for improving response to health emergencies in 14 provinces, especially for mothers and children.

It comprises credit of $121 million and a grant of $79 million.

The schools funding “will help the government roll out the reform on free primary education by strengthening governance systems and the quality of instruction,” World Bank education specialist Scherezad Joya Monami Latif said.

“It will enable over nine million children to re-enrol and stay in school when schools reopen after the (coronavirus) lockdown, and will provide access to school for more than a million poor children currently excluded from the education system.”

Schools and universities have been closed since March 24 under emergency measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

President Felix Tshisekedi’s promise to provide free primary education has been estimated to cost $2.6 billion — between 40 and 50 percent of the state budget.

On February 14, he also put forward a plan for “universal health coverage.”

Both schemes have been overshadowed by the coronavirus crisis, which is likely to cause growth to fall from 4.4 percent in 2019 to minus 2.2 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

*AFP

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Scientists and Economists from Honoris United Universities In Global Selection for Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings
June 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

The selection of eight young scientists and economists from the network represents the strengthening of ties between Honoris and Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings in promoting research in Africa

 MoU signing with the Council & Foundation for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting
MoU signing with the Council & Foundation for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

Honoris United Universities, the first and largest pan-African network of private higher education institutions, today announced that five science and three economics students from across the network have been selected amongst 1,034 young scientists and economists from over 100 countries to participate in the 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting and the 7th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences in 2021.

The Meetings, which will bring together young scientists and economists alongside Nobel Laureates in physics, chemistry, physiology & medicine, as well as economic sciences from across the world, form part of a partnership established between Honoris United Universities and Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings last year, to increase participation and research in the natural sciences and in economics across Africa.

The selected Honoris scientists and economists successfully completed a multi-stage selection process, which involved 144 academic partners of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings and German universities in the field of economics – including the “Wirtschafts – und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultätentag” (WISOFT – Association of Economics and Social Sciences Faculties).  The successful students were selected from leading African universities within the Honoris network including Université Mundiapolis in Morocco, Université Centrale in Tunisia, and REGENT Business School in South Africa.

CEO of Honoris United Universities, Luis Lopez, said, “As an Academic Partner to the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, we are extremely proud to support and promote the development of world-class African talent as evidenced by our exemplary students, selected to participate in this extremely competitive and prestigious event.  They are a testament to the learning being undertaken in our institutions and to the faculty members focused on student success and institutional research. This is a superb opportunity for our students to represent research in economics and in natural sciences from Africa as part of a landmark global event.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the onsite interdisciplinary 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting and the Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences, originally planned for 2020, are postponed to 2021. The 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting will now take place from 27 June – 2 July 2021 and 7th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences will take place from 24 – 28 August 2021.

For 2020, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings will be introducing two exciting online forums, bringing together some 40 Nobel Laureates, Lindau Alumni and the selected young scientists and economists from across the world to exchange knowledge, ideas and questions via a series of interactive and high level activities.

This will include the Online Sciathon 2020 (19 – 21 June), a 48-hour hackathon-style event involving Lindau Alumni and the young scientists and economists on topics relating to global, sustainable and cooperative open science, climate change and capitalism after COVID-19.

The Sciathon will be followed by the Online Science Days 2020 (28 June – 1 July) for Nobel Laureates, Lindau Alumni and the young scientists and economists invited for 2021. They will participate in Debates, Conversations, Talks and Next Gen Science Sessions with each comprising live Q&A sessions. Invited guests as well as media representatives will be able to follow the whole programme online and interested parties may register for access, including future young scientists or economists, prospective academic partners or benefactors.

Since its foundation in 1951, around 400 Nobel Laureates have attended the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, held each year as a forum for scientists of different generations, cultures and disciplines to convene and exchange knowledge, ideas and experiences.  The theme is alternated each year and is based on the three natural science Nobel Prize disciplines – physics, chemistry and physiology & medicine. An interdisciplinary meeting based around all three natural sciences is held every five years and a Lindau Meeting on economic sciences is held every three years.

About Honoris United Universities

Honoris United Universities is the first and largest pan-African private higher education network committed to educating the next generation of African leaders and professionals able to impact regionally in a globalized world.  Collaborative intelligence, cultural agility and mobile mind-sets and skills are at the heart of Honoris’ vision of higher education.  Honoris United Universities joins the expertise of its member institutions to develop world-class African Human capital that is competitive in today’s fast-paced, demanding and increasingly digitized labor and start-up markets.

Honoris United Universities gathers a community of 45,000 students on 60 campuses, learning centres and via on-line, in 10 countries and 32 cities. The network counts 11 institutions: multidisciplinary universities, specialized schools, technical and vocational institutes, contact, distance and online institutions.  Students have an opportunity to experience exclusive partnerships and exchange programs in more than 60 universities across Europe and the United States.  Over 280 degrees are offered in Health Sciences, Engineering, IT, Business, Law, Architecture, Creative Arts and Design, Media, Political Science and Education.

About Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings foster the exchange among scientists of different generations, cultures, and disciplines. Once every year, around 30-40 Nobel Laureates convene in Lindau to meet the next generation of leading scientists: 600 undergraduates, PhD students, and post-doc researchers from all over the world.

The Lindau Meetings cooperate with more than 200 of the most renowned science and research institutions worldwide to identify the most qualified participants. The scientific programme of each Lindau Meeting is based on the principle of dialogue. The different sessions – Lectures, Agora Talks, Master Classes, and Panel Discussions – are designed to activate the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and experience between and among Nobel Laureates and young scientists. www.lindau-nobel.org

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Ethiopia: The African Development Bank gives $1.2 million for Ethiopia-Sudan railway study
June 9, 2020 | 0 Comments
The two-year, comprehensive feasibility study will assess the proposed project’s technical, economic, environmental and social viability

The African Development Bank’s (www.AfDB.org) Board of Directors has approved a $1.2 million grant to Ethiopia’s government to finance a feasibility study for construction of a standard-gauge railway (SGR) link between Ethiopia and neighbouring Sudan.

The grant, from the African Development Fund, the Bank Group’s concessional-rate lending arm, would cover 35% of the total estimated $3.4 million cost of the study. The remaining funding will be provided by the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) in the form of a $2-million grant, and by a contribution of $100,000 each from the two countries involved. The financing was approved in January.

The two-year, comprehensive feasibility study will assess the proposed project’s technical, economic, environmental and social viability, as well as alternative financing arrangements, including a public-private partnership (PPP).

The railway line will link Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to Khartoum in Sudan, with an extension to Port Sudan on the Red Sea. The route, agreed by both governments, stretches 1,522 kilometres between Addis Ababa and Port Sudan.

According to the document presented to directors of the African Development Fund, the absence of a regional arterial route linking Ethiopia, Sudan and other countries in the Horn of Africa is a brake on trade, development and regional integration. The movement of goods and people between Sudan and Ethiopia often requires the use of several modes of transport, which increases costs and lengthens journey times.

The feasibility study’s findings will be keenly awaited because its implementation would benefit a large proportion of Ethiopia’s 110 million people and 43 million inhabitants of Sudan, as well as populations in the wider region.

The proposed project is aligned with the Bank’s Country Strategy Paper 2016-2020 for Ethiopia. It is also consistent with the long-term development goals of the Sudanese Government, as set out in its national 25-year strategy (2007-2031). It also accords with the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy 2013-2022 and the operational priority of infrastructure development. The proposed project also would satisfy four of the Bank’s High 5 strategic priorities: Integrate Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa.
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The EurAfrican Forum Digital 2020: 2 Days Between Europe and Africa’s Major Leaders
June 5, 2020 | 0 Comments
The EurAfrican Forum Digital 2020 will be gathering key actors from the public and private sector but also engaging the civil society, entrepreneurs, artists, activists, scientists

For the first time, the EurAfrican Forum  will be moving online holding its 3rd annual meeting on July 2nd and 3rd, 2020; The EurAfrican Forum Digital 2020 will be gathering key actors from the public and private sector but also engaging the civil society, entrepreneurs, artists, activists, scientists; 2020’s edition will explore and discuss common challenges, as it unveils its theme In Search for a Common Ground in a Post COVID World; The program will focus on five key topics: Perspectives on EU-AU relations, Matrix (Energy) Just Transition, Made in Africa: Emerging and Fast Track Business, African Culture Feeding the world, Connecting the Unconnected.

Due to the global health crisis, many international conferences have cancelled or postponed their 2020 edition. But at a time of risk and uncertainty, the President of the Board believes it is a crucial moment to come together.

“The only way to respond to a global crisis is to reunite not only the political or private decision makers but also the civil society to have a collective vision and establish global solutions. We have thus taken the decision to move the EurAfrican Forum online, in order to all be part of the recovery of our economies,” Filipe de Botton, Chairman of the Board of the Portuguese Diaspora Council.

The annual meeting will be gathering online the foremost changemakers of the African and European continent, such as entrepreneurs, artists, activists, public and private decision leaders, on July 2nd and 3rd 2020.

The conversations will go on, and the digital Forum be providing the tools needed to work together, in search of common ground in a post-COVID world. With live and recorded programming: talks, firechats, networking, and exhibitions, a wide range of panelists will join the conversation, such as: Jonathan Rosenthal, Africa
 Editor of The Economist – Prof. Landry Signé, Senior Fellow in the Global Economy and Development Program, Brookings Institution, Dr. Bakary Diallo, CEO, African Virtual University – Biola Alabi, Founding Partner, Biola Alabi Media, Carlos Lopes, Honorary Professor, University of Cape Town – Fabio Scala, Founder, Further Africa, Vanessa Nakate, Climate Activist and Founder, The Rise Up Climate Movement, Thora Arnorsdottir, Managing TV Editor, Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, Enuma Okoro, Author.


The Portuguese Diaspora Council is a non-profit private association, recognized in 2019 as a non-governmental organization for development. Founded in 2012, its main purpose is to enhance Portugal’s brand and international reputation involving the Portuguese diaspora of proven influence who have distinguished themselves in their field of expertise, namely in Culture, Citizenship, Science and Economics. The “World Portuguese Network” comprises over 100 counsellors, spread on 5 continents.

* EurAfrican Forum
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Facebook and Red Cross Launch #AfricaTogether, a Campaign Calling for Vigilance against Covid-19
June 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
#AfricaTogether combines musical and comedy performances with information from Covid-19 first responders and fact-checkers from across Africa

Facebook and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are partnering to launch #AfricaTogether – a digital campaign and two-day festival on June 4th and 5th featuring artists from across Africa to encourage continued vigilance against Covid-19.

With more than 100,000 Covid-19 cases confirmed on the continent and containment measures easing in many countries, #AfricaTogether combines musical and comedy performances with information from Covid-19 first responders and fact-checkers from across Africa.

#AfricaTogether will include a festival with performances by artists such as Aramide, Ayo, Femi Kuti, Ferre Gola, Salatiel, Serge Beynaud, Patoranking, Youssou N’dour amongst many others, as well as a digital awareness campaign with prevention messages developed with Red Cross and Red Crescent health experts and targeting simultaneously Facebook users in 48 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

The event will be streamed on Facebook Live on the 4th June in English and hosted by the Nigerian popular actor and comedian Basketmouth and in French on the 5th June by the renowned media personality Claudy Siar. To watch the live shows, viewers can tune in to the Facebook Africa page  and Red Cross and Red Crescent Facebook pages. To register and learn more about the artist lineup and how to tune in, please visit the Facebook event pages in English and in French .

Commenting, Mamadou Sow, a long-serving member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement said, “The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis in that it can affect us all, and ignores borders, ethnicities, and religions. African communities so far have responded quickly, but the risk remains very real. If we all do our part, we will beat Covid-19. Music is a powerful uniting force and we hope that the #AfricaTogether festival will bring renewed hope and action against this dangerous disease.”

Adding her voice to the initiative, Jocelyne Muhutu-Rémy, Facebook’s Strategic Media Partnerships Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa said: “The spike in the use of online tools during the Covid-19 pandemic shows the social usefulness of digital platforms in difficult times. We are seeing many incredible initiatives from artists bringing their communities together on Facebook Live. The #AfricaTogether campaign will enable people to learn more about fighting Covid-19, while enjoying entertainment from their favourite African performers. We will be spreading joy in a way that doesn’t spread the disease.”

This event is one of the many ways that Facebook and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are both contributing in the fight against Covid-19 across the continent.

Facebook continues to work with governments across Sub-Saharan Africa, including partnering with organizations like health agencies and NGOs who are actively using its platforms to share accurate information about the situation and launching Covid-19 Information Centers in more than 40 countries, which provides real-time updates from health authorities and helpful articles, videos and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of the virus.

With a network of more than 1.5 million volunteers and staff across the continent, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is on the frontlines of combating Covid-19 in communities through information campaigns, providing soap and access to clean water, and supporting health care facilities and workers with training, equipment, and supplies. In parts of Africa, Covid-19 is another layer of crisis on top of conflict, violence, or climate disasters.

About the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement:
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (www.ICRC.org) is the world’s largest humanitarian network. It is neutral and impartial, and dedicated to preventing and alleviating human suffering, protecting life and health, and upholding human dignity especially in armed conflicts and emergencies such as health crises and disasters. The Movement is composed of 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

About Facebook:
Facebook is a technology company whose mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Our products — which include the Facebook app, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Portal, and Novi — empower more than 3 billion people around the world to share ideas, offer support and make a difference.
*SOURCE Facebook
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The Rockefeller Foundation Announces New Awards to Strengthen Covid-19 Response in Communities Across Africa and Asia
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments
Dr. Rajiv J. Shah meets with a mother and her daughter to talk about The Rockefeller Foundation’s work to bring electricity and lighting to the Kibera area in Kenya. | Photograph by Chad Holder

The Rockefeller Foundation announced today that it will award three new grants to support organizations that are working with countries, communities and regions in Africa and Asia to leverage data and technology to bolster their Covid-19 response. These grants will enhance data collection through contact tracing, symptom checking, and testing that can generate data that is crucial for ensuring efficient Covid-19 responses across community, country and regional levels. The Foundation is also expanding its support of off-grid technologies that can quickly address the energy needs of healthcare facilities currently operating without electricity.

“When I was leading the U.S. response to the 2014 outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, using transparent, location-specific, real-time data was a game-changing innovation,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Employing a data-driven response to outbreaks is critical to target prevention and response efforts much more precisely and return to normal more quickly.”

With more than 5 million cases globally, countries have turned to technology at all levels of their health systems to respond to Covid-19. Yet many lower- and middle-income countries do not have the same resources as wealthier countries to develop innovations that meet their unique needs and could aid their responses. As a result, those countries with the fewest resources to combat a Covid-19 outbreak are often the least well-positioned to leverage data and technology to drive efficient responses.

“We are partnering with countries and local communities to equip them with the technologies and tools that will help to protect their health and save their economies,” said Ashvin Dayal, Senior Vice President, Power Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation. “Reliable electricity is essential for effective testing and treatment, and off-grid technologies can be rapidly deployed to address this crisis.”

To support countries and those on the frontline in their Covid-19 responses, the Foundation is awarding grants totaling $2 million to four organizations: Dalberg, Dimagi, Medic Mobile and Odyssey Energy Solutions. These new grants build on the Foundation’s efforts to improve public health and provide reliable electricity to vulnerable communities worldwide and brings its total commitment to the global Covid-19 response to over $50 million.

The Foundation’s new grants include:

  • Dalberg has received a grant to strengthen the Incident Management System (IMS) capacity of West African Emergency Operations Centers to prepare for, detect and respond to public health emergencies. The foundation’s grant will support work in six West African countries: Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Mauritania. “Emergency Operations Centers help countries and communities come together in a way that saves lives and allows economies to get back on their feet more quickly after disasters have passed,” said Madjiguene Sock, Partner at Dalberg. “This grant will allow us to bolster the effectiveness of the Emergency Operations Centers we have supported for more than seven years, as well as establish a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing between centers across West Africa.”
  • Dimagi and Medic Mobile have received funding to equip community health workers with new digital tools that can bolster a data-driven response to Covid-19 in up to 50 countries. Dimagi and Medic Mobile are the two largest developers of apps designed specifically for community health workers, reaching 700,000 community health workers across the globe. “Digital tools can make a real difference in fighting Covid-19, but only if they make it into the hands of health workers,” said Isaac Holeman, PhD, Co-Founder of Medic Mobile. “This collaboration is an opportunity for our organizations to share what we know, to leverage our respective strengths in order to deliver systems that are optimized for frontline workers in hard-to-reach communities.” Jonathan Jackson, Co-Founder and CEO of Dimagi added, “By creating and sharing these tools, we can help community health workers better respond to this devastating virus and optimize public health in the long-run. These tools will shape a future in which we can predict and respond to pandemics faster and more effectively.”
  • Odyssey Energy Solutions is receiving funding to develop its data platform, which will enable the fast and sustainable deployment of donor capital to energize healthcare facilities with distributed renewable energy technology. The Odyssey platform will align donor efforts, targeting efficient allocation of over $200 million across at least 2,000 health centers in sub-Saharan Africa. “Over 70% of healthcare facilities lack access to reliable electricity in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Odyssey CEO Emily McAteer. “By integrating key datasets with the location of priority health facilities, matching them with developers, supporting the bulk procurement of mini-grid components, and utilizing asset management technologies to track performance, this project will help address the energy needs of healthcare facilities immediately and reliably.” Dana Rysankova, Global Lead for Energy Access at the World Bank noted: “The Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) is supporting World Bank client countries in their efforts to electrify health facilities to help mitigate the Covid-19 health crisis. Odyssey can be a very powerful tool in this effort. In Nigeria, for example, the Rural Electrification Agency and the World Bank are partnering with the Odyssey platform for a significant Covid response effort to electrify isolation and treatment centers and primary healthcare facilities, many of which are subsequently expected to be expanded into mini grids that also serve neighboring communities and businesses.”

“The Rockefeller Foundation has supported the field of public health for over 100 years, fueling progress against disease through innovation,” said Naveen A. Rao, MD, Senior Vice President, Health, The Rockefeller Foundation. “These grants build upon that legacy to ensure that countries can fight a 21st century pandemic with 21st century tools.”

The new grants are part of the Foundation’s overall response to the global pandemic, as described in Dr. Shah’s 2020 Annual letter.

About Dalberg
Dalberg is a leading social impact advisory group that brings together strategy consulting, design thinking, big data analytics, and research to address complex social and environmental challenges. We work collaboratively with communities, institutions, governments, and corporations to develop solutions that create impact at scale. With more than 30 locations worldwide and a diverse footprint in the global south, Dalberg is driven by a mission to build a world where all people, everywhere, can reach their fullest potential. In the midst of COVID, Dalberg is coming together with a diverse range of partners and collaborators to mitigate the most serious effects of the crisis for vulnerable communities around the globe. From preparing and transforming under-resourced healthcare systems to partnering with governments to re-imagine existing supply chains and open up new opportunities for livelihoods, we are building systems and solutions that address immediate risks and fend off broader socio-economic disruptions. In all that we do, we rely on our diverse capabilities, cross-sector experience, global mindset and local presence to contribute to the building of a more inclusive and sustainable society for the future.

About Dimagi
Founded in 2002, Dimagi, Inc. is an award-winning, socially conscious technology company that helps organizations around the world deliver quality digital solutions for a variety of sectors, across urban and rural communities. Dimagi’s flagship solution, CommCare, is a leading open-source mobile data collection and service delivery platform designed to improve data collection and the quality of frontline services in low-resource settings. More than 700,000 frontline workers have used CommCare across more than 2,000 projects in 80 countries. Today, Dimagi is supporting COVID-19 response efforts with several state, local, and national governments. Dimagi’s team of exceptional physicians, engineers, and health system architects perform technical strategy, systems design, software development, and health research with partners around the world.

About Medic Mobile
Medic Mobile’s mission is to advance good health and human flourishing with and for the hardest-to-reach communities. A unique non-profit organization, Medic Mobile works with partner organizations to build and apply software that helps health workers deliver equitable care. As technical steward of the Community Health Toolkit open source project, Medic Mobile supports more than 27,000 health workers who provide care for over 12 million people in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Most of the organization’s nearly 100 engineers, designers, and global health practitioners work from offices in Nairobi, Dakar, and Kathmandu, and roughly a third work remotely or from offices in Seattle and San Francisco. The organization and its open source community envision a more just world in which health workers are supported as they provide care for their neighbors, universal health coverage is a reality, and health is a secured human right.

About Odyssey Energy Solutions
Odyssey is an investment and asset management platform that enables data-driven capital deployment into distributed energy portfolios. The platform manages data across the lifecycle of project portfolios, including feasibility analysis, investment diligence, and asset monitoring. Odyssey is being used by key donors, governments and development finance institutions to manage large-scale mini-grid, solar home system, and other electrification initiatives across numerous countries in emerging markets.

About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission – unchanged since 1913 – is to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today the Foundation advances new frontiers of science, policy, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas and conversations. In health, The Rockefeller Foundation has been working to improve global public health for more than a century – from eradicating hookworm in the American South, to launching the field of public health, to seeding the development of the life-saving yellow fever vaccine. The Foundation’s Precision Public Health initiative aims to empower community health systems and frontline health workers with the latest digital innovations – including more accurate and precise decision-making tools based on predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

*AMA/ Rockefeller Foundation

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Merck Foundation together with African First Ladies continue their strategy to provide specialty training for African doctors to better manage diabetes and hypertension patients
May 22, 2020 | 0 Comments
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation acknowledge some of Merck Foundation Alumni, future Diabetes and Hypertension experts in Africa and Asia
Merck Foundation has also started Coronavirus healthcare capacity building by providing online one-year diploma and two-year master degree in Respiratory Medicine and Acute Medicine for African Doctors

Merck Foundation , the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany in partnership with African First Ladies and Ministries of Health, continue their strategy to provide one-year diploma and two-year master degree in both Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine and Diabetes for medical postgraduates from more than 35 African and Asian countries.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and One of 100 Most Influential Africans emphasized, “Amidst the pandemic that has rocked the world, we must not forget people living with other health conditions such as Diabetes and Hypertension because they are the Coronavirus risk groups therefore Merck Foundation continues to build Hypertension and Diabetes care training to doctors, in partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health and Academia. Moreover, we also provide training to doctors from Asian countries”.

Merck Foundation has so far enrolled and trained over 183 Medical postgraduates from over 35 countries. As a part of their efforts to build hypertension and diabetes care capacity, Merck Foundation enroll medical postgraduates for One Year Online Diploma and Two Year online master degree in Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine and Diabetes from reputable university in UK. Additionally, they also enroll doctors for a three-month Diabetes Master course from English, French and Portuguese speaking African countries to advance their clinical knowledge in tackling these non-communicable conditions.

Merck Foundation started capacity building of Coronavirus healthcare through providing online one-year diplomas and two year master degree in both Respiratory Medicine and Acute Medicine from UK University, for African doctors.

Dr. Sofia Jarombwereni Natshikare Nepembe, Merck Foundation alumnus from Namibia says, “I feel fortunate to be a part of this program and receive the Postgraduate one-year Diploma in Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine as part of Merck Foundation capacity advancement program. The course has enabled me to learn the advanced scientific developments for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The course has helped me to serve my patients better. Merck Foundation is doing a great job by providing postgraduate degrees for doctors like me who are eager to specialize to better serve their communities.”

“We are committed to enroll more doctors for these courses to be able to build a platform of hypertension and diabetes experts in underserved communities. These online courses is the right strategy to scale up our efforts to improve access to quality healthcare solutions widely and effectively especially during Coronavirus lockdown”, explained Dr. Rasha Kelej.

The program started in 35 countries such as: Bangladesh, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Merck Foundation , established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth.

Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Almost 52,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions.

Founded in 1668, Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma
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U.S Has Committed Support to Benefit Over 120 Countries with over 40 in Africa amid Covid-19
May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Mohammed M.Mupenda

U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks said the U.S. Government is donating up to 1000 much needed ventilators and accompanying equipment to South Africa to assist with its national response to COVID-19.Photo USAID
U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks said the U.S. Government is donating up to 1000 much needed ventilators and accompanying equipment to South Africa to assist with its national response to COVID-19.Photo USAID

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 was reported, American people have given more than $10 billion that will benefit the global COVID-19 response, while the United States Government itself has injected more than 900 million in State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). 

“This funding, provided by Congress, will save lives by improving public health education; protecting healthcare facilities; and increasing laboratory, disease-surveillance, and rapid-response capacity in more than 120 countries,” said the US Department of State in a release.

Hitherto, the US foreign assistance funding for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic includes an initial $23 million meant for specifically providing ventilators to some of her partners and allies and vows to make “future additional purchases and shipments of ventilators and related supplies”.

The COVID-19 assistance to-date from the State Department and USAID includes the following:

  • Nearly $300 million in emergency health assistance from USAID’s Global Health Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infectious-Disease Outbreaks and Global Health Programs account.  These funds prioritize interventions to mitigate the pandemic and prepare communities in developing countries affected and at-risk of COVID-19.
  • Nearly $300 million in humanitarian assistance from USAID’s International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account.  This assistance supports case management and keeps essential health services operating; provides risk communication and community engagement programs; supports infection, prevention, and control efforts; provides safe water and hygiene items; and strengthens local capacity and coordination by working with existing health structures and with others in the humanitarian community. These funds prioritize populations affected by ongoing humanitarian crises, particularly displaced people, because of their heightened vulnerability, the elevated risk of severe outbreaks in camps and informal settlements, and anticipated disproportionate mortality in these populations.
  • More than $150 million from the Economic Support Fund (ESF) account.  These funds promote American foreign-policy interests by financing shorter-term mitigation efforts and addressing the second-order impacts of the pandemic in the long term, across a variety of sectors.
  • Nearly $160 million in humanitarian assistance from the Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) account, provided through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.  These funds help international organizations and NGO partners address challenges posed by the pandemic in refugee, IDP, and host communities as well as other among migrants and other vulnerable people.

This assistance from the State Department and USAID does not include hundreds of millions more being provided by other U.S. Government Departments and Agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Defense (DoD).  New COVID-19 foreign assistance is provided in addition to the more than $100 billion in global health funding and nearly $70 billion in overseas humanitarian assistance provided by the United States in the last decade alone.

In addition to this direct funding from the U.S. Government, our All-of-America approach is helping people around the world through the generosity of American private businesses, non-profit groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, and individuals, who have now provided more than $4.3 billion in donations and assistance globally, more than any other nation.

To meet the most urgent needs, U.S. Government Departments and Agencies are coordinating efforts to prioritize foreign assistance to maximize the potential for impact.  The United States is providing the following assistance through the State Department and USAID:

Africa:

  • Angola:  $570,000 for health assistance is helping provide risk-communications and water and sanitation, and prevent and control infections in key health facilities in Angola.  This assistance comes on top of long-term U.S. investments in Angola, which total $1.48 billion over the past 20 years, including over $613 million for health assistance.
  • Bénin:  $1.5 million in health assistance will help Béninois respond to the outbreak by funding the coordination and planning of outbreak-response activities, strengthening surveillance and rapid-response capabilities, and risk-communications and engagement with communities. This assistance joins $1.72 billion in total assistance for Benin over the past 20 years, over $364 million of which was for health.  
  • Botswana:  $1.5 million in health assistance to address the outbreak.  Funding will support risk-communications and community engagement, with a focus on the most vulnerable populations, the procurement of essential health commodities and logistic support, and strengthening case-management and the prevention and control of infections in key health facilities.  This assistance builds on nearly $1.2 billion in total assistance in Botswana over the last 20 years, over $1.1 billion of which has been for health.
  • Burkina Faso:  Nearly $7 million in health and humanitarian funding will go toward risk-communications, water and sanitation, preventing and controlling infections in health facilities, public-health messaging, and more.  This includes $2.5 million in health assistance, $1.5 million in IDA humanitarian assistance, and nearly $2.8 million in MRA humanitarian assistance, which will help protect the health of vulnerable people in Burkina Faso during the pandemic.  Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $2.4 billion total in Burkina Faso, including over $222 million for health alone.
  • Burundi: More than $3 million in total funding for the response to COVID-19 includes $2 million in health assistance and more than $1 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to help protect the health of vulnerable people.  The health assistance will improve the planning and coordination of response activities, the strengthening of surveillance and rapid-response capabilities, strengthening capacities for case-management and the prevention and control of infections, and the training of health workers.  The United States has invested more than $997 million in total assistance for Burundi, including more than $254 million for health, over the past 20 years.
  • Cameroon:  Nearly $8 million for health and humanitarian assistance will help provide infection-control in key health facilities, strengthen laboratories and surveillance, prepare communities, and bolster local messaging.  This includes $6.1 million for health and IDA humanitarian assistance from USAID, in addition to nearly $1.9 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to support refugees, IDPs, and host communities.  This assistance builds upon more than $960 million in total U.S. investment in the country over the past 20 years, over $390 million of which has been for health.
  • Central African Republic:  More than $10 million in humanitarian assistance, including $6.5 million in IDA humanitarian assistance that will go toward risk-communications, preventing and controlling infections in health facilities, and safe water supplies, and more than $3.5 million in MRA humanitarian assistance that will help protect the health of vulnerable people in the Central African Republic during the pandemic.  The U.S. Government has provided $822.6 million in total in the Central African Republic over the last 20 years, including $4.5 million in emergency health assistance in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.
  • Republic of Congo (ROC):  $250,000 in health assistance will address the outbreak, by supporting the coordination and planning of response activities, risk- communications and community-outreach activities and the training of health workers in protocols for preventing and controlling infections in health facilities.  The United States has invested in the Republic of Congo for decades, including more than $171.2 million in total U.S. assistance over the last 20 years, over $36.9 million of which has been for health.
  • Chad:  More than $3.5 million in humanitarian assistance, including $1 million from the IDA account for preventing and controlling infections in health facilities, raising community awareness of COVID-19, and improving hygiene, and nearly $2.6 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to help protect the health of vulnerable people in Chad during the pandemic.  This new assistance builds upon the foundation of nearly $2 billion in total U.S. assistance over the last 20 years, including more than $30 million for health.
  • Côte d’Ivoire:  $3.2 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by financing risk-communications and community engagement; the training of health care providers in protocols for preventing and controlling infections in health facilities and the appropriate management of cases of COVID-19 and influenza-like illnesses; and ensuring these facilities  are appropriately supplied with essential health commodities.  Funding will also finance the training of health workers in critical community-level surveillance techniques, such as case-finding and contact-tracing.  Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $2.1 billion in long-term development and other assistance in Côte d’Ivoire.
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC):  More than $26 million in total including $16 million for health and IDA humanitarian assistance that will improve the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, and support improved awareness of COVID-19, including by working with religious leaders and journalists on risk-communication messaging.  More than $5 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will help protect vulnerable people in the DRC during the pandemic.  The $6 million of health assistance funding will support supply-chain management and logistics, as well as the procurement of essential health commodities; strengthening critical disease-surveillance activities, including community-based surveillance, contact-tracing, and case-finding; strengthening practices to prevent and control infections at health facilities and train health workers, as well as community-based efforts to improve access to water and basic hygiene materials, with the direct distribution of kits to households to prevent infections.  Health assistance also will support mobilizing thousands of volunteers in targeted, high-risk Provinces to conduct risk-communications and community-engagement activities.  Finally, approximately $5 million in ESF will go toward distance and alternative education for Congolese children and youth so they can continue to learn and maintain protective routines and social connections while schools remain closed across the country.  This builds upon more than $6.3 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $1.5 billion for health.
  • Djibouti:  $750,000 in total, including $500,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak and $250,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance to assist vulnerable migrants and host communities as they deal with the pandemic.  Health assistance will support strengthening the capacity for testing, supply-planning, supply-chain management and the distribution of urgent health commodities needed for COVID-19.  The health assistance also will fund risk-communications and community-outreach activities, the training of health workers to implement protocols to prevent and control infections in health facilities and manage cases of COVID-19; and disease-surveillance and rapid-response protocols and functionality.  The United States has already invested more than $338 million in Djibouti over the last 20 years.
  • Eswatini: $1.1 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by bolstering Eswatini’s emergency health response, which could include the procurement of supplies, contact-tracing, laboratory diagnostics, and raising public awareness.  This assistance builds upon the foundation of U.S. Government investments in the Kingdom, which total more than $529 million assistance over the last 20 years, including more than $490 million for health.
  • Ethiopia:  More than $23.4 million in assistance to counter COVID-19, including $3.4 million for health and $7.5 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for risk-communications, the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, disease-surveillance, contact-tracing, and coordination; $7 million in ESF that will support continuing operation at a major industrial park in Hawassa to preserve critical jobs,; and more than $5.6 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for vulnerable people, including refugees, migrants, and host communities.  The health assistance will support strengthening outbreak-response capabilities, including community-based surveillance for case-finding and contact-tracing; strengthening laboratory diagnostic capacity; and optimizing case-management and practices to prevent and control infections in  health facilities.  Health assistance will also fund risk-communications and community-engagement activities.  This assistance is in addition to the United States’ long-term investments in Ethiopia over the past 20 years of more than $13 billion in total assistance, over $4 billion has been for health alone.
  • Ghana:  $1.6 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by strengthening outbreak-response capabilities, including community-based surveillance for case-finding and contact-tracing; improve laboratory diagnostic capacity; optimize the management of COVID-19 cases and the prevention and control of infections in health facilities; and promote risk-communications and community-engagement activities.  This new assistance builds upon $3.8 billion in total U.S. Government investments in Ghana over the last 20 years, including over $914 million for health.
  • Guinea:  $1.3 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by financing risk-communications and community-outreach activities, the training of health workers to implement protocols to prevent and control infections in health facilities; and disease-surveillance and rapid-response protocols and functionality.  The United States has invested nearly $1 billion in total assistance in Guinea over the last 20 years, including over $365.5 million for health.
  • Kenya:  Nearly $4.4 million for health and humanitarian assistance, including $3.5 million in health and IDA humanitarian assistance to bolster risk-communications; prepare health-communication networks and media for possible cases; and help provide public-health messaging for media, health workers, and communities; and $947,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance for refugees and host communities.  This assistance specific to COVID-19 comes on top of long-term U.S. Government investments in Kenya, which total $11.7 billion over the last 20 years, including more than $6.7 billion for health alone.
  • Lesotho:  $750,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak by strengthening outbreak-response capabilities, including community-based surveillance for case-finding and contact tracing, strengthening laboratory diagnostic capacity, and optimizing case-management and the prevention and control of infections in health facilities.  The health assistance also will finance risk-communications and community-engagement activities.  This new assistance builds upon decades of U.S. investments in Lesotho, which total more than $1 billion over the last 20 years, including more than $834 million for health.
  • Liberia:  $1.3 million for health assistance will provide critical aid for all 15 Liberian Counties (emergency operation centers, training, contact-tracing, hospitals, and community health care), support quarantine efforts, and provide village-level support.  The United States has helped lay a strong foundation for Liberia’s response to COVID-19 through more than $4 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $675 million for health.
  • Madagascar:  $2.5 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by strengthening laboratory capacity for diagnostics; deploying  mobile laboratories for decentralized diagnosis; improving regional and District surveillance, including data systems and the training of community health volunteers in contact-tracing; promoting risk-communications and community-engagement activities, including a staffed hotline, mass-media campaigns and prevention messages; the training of health professionals infection and prevention control training, procurement of essential health commodities, and improvements in waste management. The United States has invested more than $1.5 billion in total assistance for Madagascar over the last 20 years, including over $722 million for health alone.
  • Malawi: $4.5 million in health assistance to address the outbreak. Funding will support the COVID-19 response and preparedness activities at the district level, including surveillance activities, strengthening infection and prevention control practices, screening at points of entry, and case management. Funding will also support risk communication and community engagement, including radio and social media campaigns; and technical assistance to optimize supply chain logistics and management. The United States has provided more than $3.6 billion in total assistance for Malawi over the past 20 years, including more than $1.7 billion for health.
  • Mali: More than $8.4 million in assistance for the response to COVID-19, which includes $2.4 million for health assistance and $2 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for risk-communications, the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, and coordination; and more than $4 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to support vulnerable in Mali during the pandemic. Health assistance will support risk-communications and community engagement, including by establishing community communication networks with modern and traditional and to call on citizens to counter misinformation and rumors, as well as support to the Ministry of Health’s National Hotline; strengthening diagnostic networks and disease-surveillance systems, optimizing real-time surveillance to accelerate the detection and investigation of cases and contact-tracing and train and mobilize existing community-surveillance, early-warning and emergency rapid-response teams to report infections and assist ill persons in getting prompt and appropriate care.  The health funding also will finance activities to prevent and control infections at priority case-detection points (including points of entry to Mali along high-traffic cargo routes) and public and community health facilities, including through the procurement of equipment and supplies to prevent infections and manage medical waste. This new assistance builds upon decades of U.S. investments in Mali, which total more than $3.2 billion over the last 20 years, including more than $807 million for health.
  • Mauritania: $250,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak by financing risk-communications and community-engagement activities, strengthening supply-chain management and logistics, and improving the prevention and control of infections in health facilities. The United States has provided more than $424 million in total assistance over the last 20 years for Mauritania, including more than $27 million for health, which builds a strong foundation for their pandemic response.
  • Mauritius: $500,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak under the national response strategy for COVID-19, including by strengthening coordination and logistics; developing and disseminating risk-communications and prevention materials at the community level; strengthening protocols for the prevention and control of infections in health facilities; disseminating case-management guidelines and training health workers in their use; improving surveillance and rapid-response protocols and functionality; and expanding laboratory capacity.  This new assistance builds upon the foundation of more than $13 million in total U.S. Government investments over the past 20 years, including more than $838,000 for health.
  • Mozambique: $6.8 million, including $4.8 million for health assistance and $2 million in IDA humanitarian funding will finance risk-communications and community engagement, including mass-media prevention messages; water and sanitation; and the prevention and control of infections in key health facilities in Mozambique.  The health assistance also will fund the training of health workers in case-management and ensuring health facilities are prepared to respond to the outbreak. The United States has invested nearly $6 billion in Mozambique over the past 20 years, including more than $3.8 billion for health.
  • Namibia: $750,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak by improving laboratory capacity for diagnostics and technical assistance in supply-chain management and logistics. This new assistance comes in addition to nearly $1.5 billion in total U.S. Government investments to Namibia over the past 20 years, including more than $970.5 million in long-term health assistance.
  • Niger: Nearly $5.4 million in assistance includes nearly $800,000 million for health assistance and $2 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for risk-communications, the prevention and control of infectious diseases in health facilities, and coordination; and more than $2.6 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will support vulnerable people in Niger during the pandemic, including refugees, and vulnerable migrants, and host communities. This assistance comes on top of more than $2 billion in total U.S. Government investments for Niger in the past 20 years, nearly $233 million for health alone.
  • Nigeria: More than $30.3 million in assistance, which includes more than $3.3 million for health assistance and $23 million in IDA humanitarian funding for risk-communications, water and sanitation, infection-prevention, and coordination; and nearly $4.1 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for vulnerable people. This assistance joins more than $8.1 billion in total assistance for Nigeria over the past 20 years, including more than $5.2 billion in U.S. health assistance.
  • Rwanda: $2.2 million in assistance for Rwanda’s response to COVID-19 includes $1.7 million for health assistance that will help with disease-surveillance and case-management, and $474,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance to support refugees and host communities in Rwanda. This comes on top of long-term U.S. Government investments in Rwanda that total more than $2.6 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $1.5 billion for health.
  • Sénégal: $3.9 million in health assistance to support risk-communications, water and sanitation, the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, public health messaging, and more. In Sénégal, the U.S. has invested nearly $2.8 billion in total over the past 20 years, nearly $880 million for health.
  • Sierra Leone: $1.7 million in health assistance to address the outbreak by strengthening surveillance activities, case-finding, contact-tracing, risk-communications, community engagement, and the management of cases of COVID-19 at health facilities. This assistance joins decades of U.S. investments in Sierra Leone, totaling more than $5.2 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, including nearly $260 million for health.
  • Somalia: More than $17.1 million, including $12.6 million in IDA and $4.5 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for the response to COVID-19 will fund risk-communications, the prevention and control of infectious diseases in health facilities, case-management, and more, including for refugee returnees,  vulnerable migrants, and host communities. This assistance comes in addition to $5.3 billion in total assistance for Somalia over the last 20 years, including nearly $30 million for health.
  • South Africa: Approximately $8.4 million in health assistance to counter COVID-19 will fund risk-communications, water and sanitation, the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, public health messaging, and more.  The United States has also pledged to send up to 1,000 ventilators to South Africa, the first 50 of which arrived on May 11, 2020.  This assistance joins more than $7 billion in total assistance by the United States for South Africa in the past 20 years, nearly $6 billion invested for health.
  • South Sudan: Nearly $21.8 million in assistance for South Sudan’s response to COVID-19 includes $13.4 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for case-management, the prevention and control of infections, logistics, coordination efforts, risk-communications, water, sanitation and hygiene; $2.75 million in health programming; and more than $5.6 million in MRA humanitarian assistance that will support refugees, IDPs, and host communities in South Sudan during the pandemic.  The health assistance will fund expanding the training of health workers and peer educators on proper practices to prevent and control infections in health facilities to protect communities and patients, particularly those at high risk or who are immunocompromised; strengthening capabilities in health facilities and in the community to manage and refer cases of COVID-19.  The health assistance also will fund expanding efforts to address community concerns, including by tracking and combating rumors, misconceptions, and grievances. This funding builds upon past U.S. investments in South Sudan totaling $6.4 billion over the past 20 years, including more than $405 million for health.
  • Sudan: More than $24.1 million in assistance includes $16.8 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for strengthening laboratory capacity, disease-surveillance and contact-tracing, case-management, risk-communications, case-management, disease-surveillance, the prevention and control of infections, and water, sanitation and hygiene; $5 million in ESF for cash assistance to vulnerable families adversely affected by COVID-19; and more than $1.3 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to support vulnerable people. The United States has invested more than $1.6 billion in total assistance for Sudan over the last 20 years, of which more than $3 million was for health.
  • Tanzania: $3.4 million for health assistance funds the strengthening of laboratory capacity for optimal diagnostics,  risk-communications, water and sanitation, the prevention and control of infections, public health messaging, and more. The United States has invested more than $7.5 billion total in Tanzania over the past 20 years, nearly $4.9 billion for health.
  • Uganda: $3.6 million in assistance includes $2.3 million in health assistance to address the outbreak and nearly $1.3 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will support refugees and host communities in Uganda during the pandemic. The health assistance will strengthen the prevention and control of infections and case-management practices in health facilities, including by training health workers in new protocols; promote risk-communications and community engagement, including materials and messages to address most vulnerable groups; and improve management systems to ensure the accountability and availability of, and access to, health commodities, essential medicines, and health supplies in health facilities to maintain the continuity of services. This assistance is provided in addition to the nearly $8 billion in total U.S. Government investments for Uganda over the last 20 years and nearly $4.8 billion for health.
  • Zambia: $3.4 million for health assistance will fund risk-communications, water and sanitation, the prevention and control of infections, public health messaging, and more. This new assistance joins $4.9 billion total U.S. Government investments for Zambia over the past 20 years, nearly $3.9 billion in U.S. health assistance.
  • Zimbabwe: Nearly $5 million, including nearly $3 million for health assistance and $2 million for IDA humanitarian assistance will help to prepare laboratories for large-scale testing, support case-finding activities for influenza-like illnesses, implement a public-health emergency plan for points of entry, and more.  The health assistance will fund the strengthening of laboratory capacity, the prevention and control and management of cases of COVID-19 in health facilities, including hand-washing stations, screening centers, preparing hospitals to be ready to treat COVID-19 patients, training health workers, and setting up alternative care-delivery points.  Funding also will also support the training rapid-response teams, community health workers and volunteers; and risk communication and community engagement.  This new assistance builds on a history of U.S. investments in Zimbabwe – nearly $3 billion total over the past 20 years, nearly $1.2 billion of which was for health.
  • Regional Efforts in the Sahel: $5 million in ESF will strengthen the efforts of partner governments and civil society to manage and respond to COVID-19 with transparent communication and response. These investments will cover Burkina Faso, Niger, The Gambia, Chad, and Mali.
  • Regional Efforts in West Africa: $5 million in ESF will go towards conducting information campaigns with local authorities and communities and engaging community groups, community radio stations, and local media actors to develop targeted messaging in local languages. This assistance will also engage citizens in local-led advocacy, dialogue, and inclusive behavior change.  These investments will cover Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Bénin, and Guinea.
  • Regional Sub-Saharan Africa Humanitarian Assistance: More than $6 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to help vulnerable people during the pandemic.

Asia:

  • Afghanistan: More than $18.7 million in U.S. assistance specifically provided for Afghanistan’s COVID-19 response includes more than $5.6 million for health and IDA humanitarian assistance to support the detection and treatment of COVID-19 for IDPs, and nearly $3.1 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for Afghan returnees. In addition, the United States has redirected $10 million in existing resources to support the United Nations Emergency Response Plan for COVID-19 to conduct disease-surveillance, improve laboratories, manage cases of the disease, prevent and control infections in health facilities, engage with local communities, and provide technical assistance to the Government of Afghanistan. 
  • Bangladesh: More than $25.7 million in assistance includes $10.3 million for health and IDA humanitarian assistance to help with case-management, surveillance activities, infection prevention and control, risk communication, and water, sanitation, and hygiene programs, and more than $15.3 million in MRA humanitarian support for vulnerable people during the pandemic, including refugees and host communities. This builds upon nearly $4 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, which includes more than $1 billion for health.
  • Bhutan: $1 million in total assistance for COVID-19 response includes $500,000 in ESF to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to generate income for those affected by COVID-19.  It also includes $500,000 in health assistance to strengthen diagnostic laboratory capabilities and clinical case-management, provide virtual training for health care providers and lab personnel, and design and produce risk-communications materials. This assistance builds upon more than $6.5 million in total U.S. Government investments over the past 20 years, including $847,000 for health.
  • Burma: Nearly $13.5 million total, including approximately $6.5 million for health and $4.8 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, case-management, laboratories, risk-communications and community engagement, as well as water and sanitation supplies, including assistance to IDP camps that are facing water shortages. This also includes nearly $2.2 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to support vulnerable people and host communities during the pandemic. This assistance comes on top of long-term U.S. Government investments in Burma that total more than $1.3 billion over the past 20 years, which includes more than $176 million for health.
  • Cambodia: More than $11 million in total assistance for the response to COVID-19 includes $5 million in ESF for relief and job-skills training for vulnerable people, such as returning migrants, and expanded efforts to counter trafficking and protect children. It also includes more than $6 million in health assistance to help the Cambodian Government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, communicate risk, support technical experts for response and preparedness, and more.  The U.S. Government has invested more than $1.6 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, which includes more than $730 million for health.
  • India: Nearly $5.9 million in health assistance to help India slow the spread of COVID-19, provide care for the affected, disseminate essential public health messages to communities, strengthen case-finding and surveillance, and mobilize innovative financing mechanisms for emergency preparedness and response to the pandemic. This builds on a foundation of nearly $2.8 billion in total assistance to India over the last 20 years, which includes more than $1.4 billion for health.
  • Indonesia: $11 million includes more than $9 million in health and IDA humanitarian assistance to help the Indonesian Government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, and more.  It also includes nearly $1.5 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for refugees, vulnerable migrants, and their host communities.  The U.S. Government has invested more than $5 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $1 billion for health.
  • Kazakhstan: More than $3.1 million for health assistance will help prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. This new assistance builds upon U.S. investments of more than more than $2 billion in total assistance over the last 20 years, including $86 million for health.
  • Kyrgyz Republic: Approximately $900,000 for health assistance will help prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. The United States has invested nearly $1.2 billion in total assistance for Kyrgyzstan over the past 20 years, including more than $120 million for health.
  • Laos: Nearly $4.5 million for health assistance is helping the government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, and more. This assistance builds upon U.S. Government investment in Laos over time, including more than $348 million over the past decade, of which nearly $92 million was health assistance.
  • Malaysia: $1.2 million total includes $1 million in health assistance that will fund the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, community engagement, disease-surveillance and contact-tracing systems, bolster risk-communications, and more in response to COVID-19. It also includes $200,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance to support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia. This assistance builds upon a foundation of decades of U.S. investment in Malaysia, totaling more than $288 million over the past 20 years, including more than $3.6 million for health.
  • Maldives: $2 million in ESF will support the expansion of social-protection services led by local civil-society organizations (CSOs) and assist them to advocate effectively for COVID recovery policies. Funding will provide technical assistance to the government to develop effective economic, fiscal, monetary measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. investments in Maldives include more than $30 million in total assistance since 2004.
  • Mongolia: Nearly $1.2 million for health assistance is helping the Mongolian Government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, and support technical experts for response and preparedness, and more. The United States has invested more than $1 billion in total assistance for Mongolia over the past 20 years, including nearly $106 million for health.
  • Nepal: $7.3 million in total assistance includes $2.5 million in ESF to support local governments and disaster-management committees to respond to the economic and social impacts of COVID-19, and will provide small grants to the private sector and CSOs to enable economic recovery, mitigate food insecurity, and address the needs of vulnerable populations.  It also includes $4.8 million for health assistance that is helping the Nepalese Government to conduct community-level risk-communications, prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, and more.  Over the past 20 years, U.S. Government investment in Nepal totals more than $2 billion, including more than $603 million for health.
  • Pacific Islands: Nearly $12.2 million total in assistance includes $5 million in ESF to strengthen the capacity of CSOs to combat disinformation and hate speech and to protect the rights of vulnerable and marginalized groups.  Small grants also will be available at the community and national levels to increase their resilience and ability to respond to the economic impacts of COVID-19.  This total also includes $4.7 million for health assistance, which is helping governments prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness; and $2.5 million in IDA humanitarian assistance to support risk-communications, the prevention and control of infectious diseases in health facilities, logistics, coordination efforts, and more.  Over the last 20 years, the United States has invested over $5.21 billion in assistance to the Pacific Islands. Over the last decade, the United States has invested more than $620 million for health for the Pacific Islands.
  • Papua New Guinea (PNG): $3.55 million for health assistance is helping the Government of PNG prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, and support technical experts for response and preparedness, risk-communications, the prevention and control of infectious diseases in health facilities, and more. The United States has invested over $108 million total in Papua New Guinea over the past 20 years, including more than $52 million for health.
  • Pakistan: Nearly $18 million in total new assistance for Pakistan’s response to COVID-19 includes a $5 million contribution by USAID to the agreement between the Department of International Development of the United Kingdom with the Government of Pakistan to support its emergency cash-assistance program.  USAID’s contribution will support about 66,000 vulnerable families affected by COVID-19; $10 million in health assistance to strengthen monitoring and better prepare communities to identify potential outbreaks, including funding for the training of healthcare providers and other urgent needs; and nearly $2.9 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to help vulnerable people in Pakistan.  U.S. long-term investment in Pakistan over the past 20 years includes more than $18.4 billion in total assistance, which includes nearly $1.2 billion for health alone.
  • The Philippines: More than $15 million in total COVID-19 assistance includes $5 million in ESF to provide grants and skills training to heavily affected sectors and communities; facilitate access to credit for micro and small enterprises; and support the efforts of the national government to improve crisis-management and procurement and promote a regulatory environment that enhances the resilience of communities and businesses;.  In addition, about $6.5 million in health assistance and $2.8 million in IDA humanitarian assistance will help upgrade laboratories and specimen-transport systems, intensify case-finding and event-based surveillance; improve community-level preparedness and response; and support Filipino and international technical experts in risk-communications, the prevention and control of infectious diseases in health facilities, the promotion of handwashing and hygiene, and more.  Finally, $875,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance will support vulnerable people during the pandemic. The United States has invested more than $4.5 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, which includes $582 million in the Philippines’ health assistance.
  • Sri Lanka: More than $5.8 million in total assistance includes $2 million in ESF to increase social services for areas and populations most affected by the COVID-19 crisis, address the specific threats to social cohesion, and mitigate negative economic impacts; $2 million in additional ESF for strengthening small and medium-sized enterprises and increasing women’s economic participation; and $1.3 million in health assistance to help the Sri Lankan Government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, conduct risk-communications, prevent and control infectious diseases in health facilities, and more.  Finally, $590,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance will support vulnerable people during the pandemic. Over the past 20 years, U.S. assistance in Sri Lanka has totaled more than $1 billion, which includes $26 million for health.
  • Tajikistan: Approximately $866,000 for health assistance is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk-communications, and more. This support builds on more than $1 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, which includes nearly $125 million for health.
  • Thailand: More than $6.5 million for health assistance will help the Thai Government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, promote risk-communications, prevent and control infectious diseases in health facilities, and more.  $730,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance will support surveillance and response capacity in all nine camps on the Thailand-Burma border hosting refugees from Burma. This new assistance builds upon long-term U.S. Government investments in Thailand of more than $1 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, which includes nearly $214 million for health.
  • Timor-Leste: Almost $1.1 million for health assistance is helping the Government of Timor-Leste prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk-communications, and more.  The United States has invested more than $542 million in total assistance for Timor-Leste since independence in 2002, including nearly $70 million for health.
  • Turkmenistan: Approximately $920,000 for health support has been made available to help prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. Over the past 20 years, the United States has collaborated closely with the Government of Turkmenistan and local partners to implement bilateral and regional programs totaling more than $207 million, including over $21 million in the health sector.
  • Uzbekistan: Approximately $3.9 million in health funding is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk-communications, and more. This COVID-19 response assistance builds on more than $1 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $122 million in the health sector alone.
  • Vietnam: Nearly $9.5 million in total assistance for response to COVID-19 includes $5 million in ESF, which will bring much-needed resources to bear immediately, including to support private-sector recovery by enhancing access to finance for businesses; improve firms’ capacity during an expected surge in demand; and working with the Government of Vietnam to bolster its relief interventions.  It also includes $4.5 million in health assistance to help the Government prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for preparedness and response, conduct community education and engagement, prevent infections in health-care settings, public health screening at points of entry, and more. Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $1.8 billion in total assistance for Vietnam, including more than $706 million for health.
  • Regional Efforts in Asia: $2 million in ESF will provide essential services to vulnerable migrants in Central Asia stranded across the region as a result of border closures and ensure their safe return home in accordance with their own wishes and the help of NGOs and national governments.  Additionally, $800,000 in health assistance is helping governments and NGOs across the region prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, promote risk-communications, prevent and control infectious diseases in health facilities, and more. Furthermore, nearly $2.8 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will support vulnerable people in Southeast Asia and $425,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance will help vulnerable people in Central Asia during the pandemic. In addition to historic bilateral support to individual countries in the region, the United States has provided more than $226 million for health assistance regionally, and in total more than $3 billion in development and other assistance provided regionally over the last 20 years.

Europe and Eurasia:

  • Albania: More than $2 million for health assistance is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk-communications, and more. Over the last 20 years, the United States has invested more than $693 million in total assistance to Albania, including more than $51.8 million for health.
  • Armenia: $2.7 million for health assistance is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk-communications, and more. The United States has invested more than $1.57 billion in total assistance to Armenia over the past 20 years, including nearly $106 million for health.
  • Azerbaijan: Nearly $3.6 million in total assistance includes $3 million in health assistance which is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk-communications, and more. It also includes $565,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance that will help vulnerable people and host communities during the pandemic. Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $894 million in total assistance to Azerbaijan, including nearly $41 million for health.
  • Belarus: $1.7 million for health funding is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk-communications, and more. This new assistance comes on top of decades of U.S. investment in Belarus, totaling more than $301 million over the past 20 years, including nearly $1.5 million for health.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: $2.2 million for health assistance is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk-communications, and more. The United States has invested more than $1.1 billion in total assistance for Bosnia and Herzegovina over the past 20 years, including $200,000 for health.
  • Bulgaria: $500,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak. This new assistance builds on longstanding U.S. assistance for Bulgaria, which totals more than $558 million in total assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $6 million for health.
  • Georgia: $2.7 million for health funding is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. The United States has provided more than $3.6 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, including nearly $139 million for health.
  • Greece: Nearly $2.9 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will support COVID-19 response efforts for migrants and refugees in Greece. This new assistance builds upon a foundation of U.S. support for Greece, which totals more than $202 million in total investments over the last 20 years, including nearly $1.8 million for health.
  • Italy: U.S. support includes $50 million in economic assistance implemented by USAID to bolster Italy’s response to COVID-19. USAID is expanding and supplementing the work of international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and faith-based groups responding to the pandemic in Italy and mitigating its community impact. USAID is also working with the Italian government to purchase health commodities and working to support Italian companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Kosovo: Nearly $1.6 million in health assistance is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. This assistance to combat COVID-19 is in addition to long-term U.S. investments, which total over $772 million in total assistance in Kosovo over the past 20 years, including more than $10 million for health.
  • Moldova: Nearly $2.2 million for health assistance is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. This COVID-19 assistance builds upon U.S. investments of more than $1 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, including nearly $42 million for health.
  • Montenegro: $300,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak. This new assistance joins long-term U.S. investment in Montenegro totaling more than $332 million, including more than $1 million for health.
  • North Macedonia: $1.5 million for health assistance is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $738 million in total assistance for North Macedonia, including nearly $11.5 million for health.
  • Romania: $800,000 in health assistance to address the outbreak. In addition, the U.S. Government fully funded an operation by the North American Treaty Organization (NATO) to transport personal protective equipment (PPE) from South Korea to Romania. The United States has invested in Romania for decades, totaling nearly $700 million in total U.S. assistance in the last 20 years, including more than $55 million for health.
  • Serbia: More than $2 million for health assistance is helping: expand testing, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance; deploy additional technical expertise for response and preparedness; bolster risk communication and community engagement; and improve hygiene practices in the home. The United States has invested more than $1 billion in total assistance to Serbia over the past 20 years, including nearly $5.4 million for health.
  • Turkey: Nearly $5.7 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees and host communities in Turkey. This new funding is in addition to the $18 million for Syrian refugee assistance inside Turkey announced March 3, and builds upon nearly $1.4 billion in total U.S. assistance to Turkey over the past 20 years, including more than $3 million for health assistance, helping lay the foundation for the current response.
  • Ukraine: $15.5 million in total assistance includes $13.1 million in health and IDA humanitarian assistance that will improve the ability of local health care institutions to care for the sick and combat further spread of COVID-19 while increasing public communication to lower contagion risk. These funds will also mitigate secondary impacts such as loss of livelihoods and public services to vulnerable populations, including conflict-affected communities in eastern Ukraine. It also includes $2.4 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to support vulnerable populations during the pandemic. The United States has invested nearly $5 billion in total assistance to Ukraine over the past 20 years, including nearly $362 million for health.
  • Regional Efforts in Europe and Eurasia: $5 million in ESF will empower civil society actors to safeguard democratic institutions and ensure citizens are heard during the pandemic. Funding will also assist civil society organizations to provide citizen oversight over their governments’ efforts to respond to COVID-19.

Latin America and the Caribbean:

  • Argentina: $300,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance will support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees and host communities. This funding is in addition to U.S. funding for Argentina over the past 20 years, $95.1 million total including nearly $696,000 for health.
  • Bahamas: $750,000 in health assistance will increase risk communication and community engagement, infection prevention and control, surveillance and rapid response, and strengthen case management. This assistance comes in addition to decades of U.S. investment in the Bahamas, including nearly $143.1 million in total assistance over the past 20 years, $264,800 of which was for health.
  • Belize: $300,000 in previously announced health assistance to address the outbreak and improve operational capacity and case-management. This assistance builds upon past U.S. investment in Belize, which totals more than $120 million over the past 20 years, including nearly $12 million for health.
  • Bolivia: Nearly $900,000, including $750,000 in previously announced health assistance to build capacity in COVID-19 diagnostics and improve epidemiological surveillance; and $130,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance will support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees and host communities. This assistance joins long-term U.S. investment in Bolivia, including nearly $2 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, which includes $200 million for health.
  • Brazil: Nearly $3.5 million, including $2 million in new health funding that will provide immediate support to vulnerable communities of the Amazon including risk communication and community engagement, infection prevention and control, water and sanitation activities, and surveillance and rapid response; $500,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance to support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees and host communities; and $950,000 in previously announced ESF to incentivize private sector investments in mitigating non-health COVID impacts on rural and vulnerable urban populations. This assistance builds upon past U.S. investment in Brazil, which totals more than $617 million over the past 20 years, including nearly $103 million for health.
  • Chile: $20,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance to support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees and host communities. U.S. assistance to Chile totals $105.9  million over the 20 past years, including $914,000 for health.
  • Colombia: Nearly $13.2 million in assistance for Colombia’s response to COVID-19 includes $8.5 million in previously announced IDA humanitarian assistance that is helping surveil the spread of the virus, provide water and sanitation supplies, manage COVID-19 cases, and more; and nearly $4.7 million in new and previously announced MRA humanitarian assistance, which will support efforts to help vulnerable people during the pandemic, including refugees, internally displaced persons, and host communities. In Colombia, the United States has invested nearly $12 billion in total assistance over the past 20 years, which includes approximately $32.5 million in health assistance.
  • Costa Rica: Nearly $900,000 in total response to COVID-19 funding includes $800,000 in new health assistance and $80,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance to support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees, vulnerable migrants, and host communities. U.S. funding in support of Costa Rica over the past 20 years totals $207 million, including $19.2 million in health assistance.
  • Dominican Republic: Nearly $3.7 million in total response to COVID-19 funding includes $275,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance to support the COVID-19 response for refugees, vulnerable migrants, and host communities. This funding is in addition to $1.4 million in previously announced health assistance to address the outbreak, which is supporting epidemiological analysis and forecasting, contact-tracing, as well as pandemic surveillance; and $2 million in new ESF to address critical needs in the areas of social protection, psychosocial support, education, water and sanitation, and food security in vulnerable communities. . The United States has invested in the Dominican Republic’s long-term health and development through more than $1 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, which includes nearly $298 million for health.
  • Ecuador: More than $8.5 million in total response to COVID-19 funding includes  $540,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance to support the COVID-19 response effort for refugees and host communities. This assistance is in addition to the previously announced $2 million for health assistance that will increase testing capacity, implement risk communications and infection prevention activities, and strengthen clinical management; and $6 million in IDA humanitarian assistance that will provide support to transportation and logistics, as well as risk communication and community outreach efforts. Over the last 20 years, the United States’ long-term commitment to Ecuador includes more than $1 billion in total assistance, of which nearly $36 million for health assistance – helping Ecuador respond to other major public health challenges such as Zika and Malaria.
  • El Salvador: Nearly $4.6 million in total response to COVID-19 funding includes $2 million in previously announced ESF to address second-order COVID-related impacts in El Salvador through job creation and increased access to credit, both critical factors in driving illegal immigration to the United States, and nearly $2.6 million for health assistance to address the outbreak. Support will include infection prevention, control, and case-management. Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested in El Salvador’s health and long-term development through more than $2.6 billion in total assistance, which includes $111 million for health.
  • Guatemala: More than $2.4 million in previously announced health assistance for Guatemala will strengthen the health institutions to respond to COVID-19 in the areas of infection prevention and control, surveillance, risk communication, and clinical case-management. U.S. long-term investment in Guatemala’s health and development includes more than $2.6 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, which includes $564 million for health.
  • Guyana: $350,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance to support the COVID-19 response effort for refugees and host communities. This assistance comes in addition to the regional COVID-19 response efforts in the Caribbean. Regionally, US assistance totaled $840 million total over the past 20 years, which includes $236 million for health.
  • Haiti: $13.2 million in previously announced health and IDA humanitarian assistance for Haiti will support risk communication efforts, improve water and sanitation, prevent infections in health facilities, manage COVID-19 cases, strengthen laboratories, and more. The United States has invested nearly $6.7 billion in total assistance, including more than $1.8 billion for health in Haiti over the past 20 years.
  • Honduras: More than $2.4 million for health assistance for Honduras will help the Government respond to the epidemic through focused support in the areas of lab strengthening, improved disease surveillance, and clinical management of COVID-19 cases. Some of these funds will also target infection control in migrant-receiving communities. The United States has also invested nearly $1.9 billion in total assistance, which includes $178 million for health, for Honduras over the past 20 years.
  • Jamaica: $1 million in total health funding includes $300,000 in new funds supporting coordination, infection prevention, control, and management, risk communication efforts, and surveillance. This assistance builds upon U.S. investments of nearly $619 million total over the past 20 years, including nearly $87 million for health.
  • Mexico: More than $1.8 million in MRA humanitarian funding will support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees, asylum seekers, vulnerable migrants, and host communities in Mexico. U.S. long-term investment in Mexico has helped build the foundation for Mexico’s COVID-19 response – this adds up to nearly $4.8 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $61 million for health.
  • Nicaragua: $750,000 in health assistance will provide training on infection prevention and control, pandemic management, and support for targeted communication and community engagement activities and community case management for the most at-risk populations for COVID-19.
  • Panama: $825,000 in total response, including $750,000 in previously announced health assistance to optimize health system capacity to care for COVID-19 patients; and $75,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance to support the COVID-19 response for refugees, vulnerable migrants, and host communities. The United States has a history of investing in Panama’s health and long-term development with more than $425 million in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $33.5 million for health.
  • Paraguay: Nearly $1.4 million in total response, including $1.3 million in previously announced health assistance to support risk communication efforts, infection control and prevention, clinical case-management, laboratory capacity strengthening, and surveillance; and $95,000 in MRA humanitarian assistance to support the COVID-19 response for refugees and host communities. U.S. investment in Paraguay is long-term and totals more than $456 million total over the past 20 years, including more than $42 million for health.
  • Peru: Nearly $6 million in total response to COVID-19 funding includes $415,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance to support the COVID-19 response for refugees and host communities; $3 million in previously announced ESF for addressing the economic impacts of COVID-19 and preventing backsliding on shared, top-level development and security issues, including the fight against the drug trade; and $2.5 million in previously announced health assistance to provide technical assistance and training in surveillance, infection prevention and control, risk communication, and community engagement. The United States’ strong history of investing in Peru’s health and long-term development has laid the foundation for Peru’s response, with more than $3.5 billion in total U.S. assistance over the last 20 years, including nearly $265 million for health.
  • Trinidad and Tobago: $250,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance to support the COVID-19 response for refugees and host communities. This assistance comes in addition to the regional COVID-19 efforts in the Caribbean, and historic assistance. Regionally, U.S. assistance totaled $840 million total over the past 20 years, which includes $236 million for health.
  • Uruguay: $600,000 in total response to COVID-19 funding includes $500,000 in new health assistance for facilitating risk communication and community engagement, providing hygiene and medical supplies for health care facilities, and mitigating the secondary effects of the outbreak by continuing access to social-protection programs, and $100,000 in new MRA humanitarian assistance to support the COVID-19 response for migrants, refugees, and host communities. This assistance comes in addition to the more than $22 million in U.S. assistance provided to Uruguay over the past 20 years.
  • Venezuela: More than $12.3 million previously announced total humanitarian assistance to the Venezuelan people is helping surveil the spread of the virus, provide water and sanitation supplies, manage COVID-19 cases, and more. In Venezuela, the U.S. has invested more than $278 million in total long-term assistance over the past 20 years, including more than $1.3 million in direct health assistance. In the last year, the U.S. provided additional lifesaving humanitarian assistance and development programming inside Venezuela that are not captured in COVID-19 response amounts.
  • Regional Efforts in Central America: Nearly $850,000 in previously announced MRA humanitarian assistance will support regional efforts to respond to the Central America migration crisis to help vulnerable people in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras during the pandemic.
  • Regional Efforts in the Caribbean: $2.2 million in total health funding, including $500,000 in new funding to help 10 Caribbean countries (Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago) scale up their risk communication efforts, provide water and sanitation, prevent and control infectious diseases in health facilities, manage COVID-19 cases, build laboratory capacity, and conduct surveillance. This builds upon decades of strategic U.S. investment in the region, including more than $840 million total over the past 20 years, which includes $236 million for health.

Middle East and North Africa:

  • Algeria: $2 million in health assistance to support Algeria’s response to COVID-19 and mitigate its impact on Algerian society by strengthening risk communication and community engagement approaches under the Government of Algeria Preparedness and Response Plan.
  • Iraq: More than $44 million in COVID-19 assistance for Iraq includes more than $33.1 million for health and IDA humanitarian assistance that is helping prepare laboratories, implement a public-health emergency plan for points of entry, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance for influenza-like illnesses, and more. The funding includes more than $10.8 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to assist vulnerable people during the pandemic, including refugees and host communities. This new assistance builds upon long-term investment in Iraq, which adds up to more than $70 billion in total U.S. assistance in the past 20 years, including nearly $4 billion in the health sector alone.
  • Jordan: More than $8.4 million in assistance includes more than $6.9 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to support response to COVID-19 efforts to help vulnerable people in Jordan, including refugees and host communities, and $1.5 million in health assistance, which will support infection prevention and control to stop the spread of the disease, as well as laboratory strengthening for large-scale testing of COVID-19. The United States also is spearheading donor support to the Government of Jordan, coordinating life-saving assistance and prioritizing investments to respond rapidly now and to plan ahead as the threat evolves. Our investments in the last 20 years alone total more than $18.9 billion in total assistance, including more than $1.8 billion for health.
  • Lebanon: $13.3 million in assistance for Lebanon includes $5.3 million in IDA humanitarian assistance for response to COVID-19 activities targeting vulnerable Lebanese, such as supporting private health facilities to properly triage, manage, and refer patients; ensure continuity of essential health services; carry out risk communication and community outreach activities, and increase access to water, sanitation, and hygiene. $8 million in MRA humanitarian assistance will support COVID-19 response efforts to help refugees and host communities in Lebanon. This assistance builds upon the nearly $4.9 billion in bilateral assistance, including more than $187 million for health assistance, that the U.S. has provided for Lebanon in the last 20 years. In addition to the bilateral funding, the U.S. has provided more than $2.3 billion in humanitarian assistance to respond to the Syria crisis in Lebanon.
  • Libya: $12.4 million in response to COVID-19 includes $3.5 million in ESF to help municipalities to formalize their crisis response functions, develop emergency management plans, and train teams in Crisis Emergency Response. In addition, assistance will expand key public awareness, education, and guidance messages during the COVID-19 crisis. It also includes $6 million in IDA humanitarian assistance being provided for Libya to support risk communication, improve case-management, bolster coordination for an effective COVID-19 response, and strengthen infection prevention and control; and nearly $3 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to help vulnerable people during the pandemic, including refugees, vulnerable migrants, and host communities.
  • Morocco: Nearly $7.7 million in total response to COVID-19 funding includes $4 million in ESF to support socio-economic recovery among marginalized and vulnerable populations in urban and rural populations through a cash relief program; and $3.7 million for health assistance that is helping prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. This assistance builds upon long-term U.S. investments in Morocco adding up to more than $2.6 billion in total assistance over the last 20 years, including $64.5 million for health.
  • Syria: More than $31 million in humanitarian assistance for the response to COVID-19 in Syria supports risk communication, disease surveillance, water, sanitation and hygiene programs, infection prevention and control. This assistance joins decades of U.S. investments for the Syrian people, including more than $10 billion in humanitarian assistance for people in need inside Syria, Syrian refugees, and host communities since the beginning of the conflict. A number of U.S. sanctions exemptions and authorizations apply with respect to the provision of humanitarian assistance, including medicines and medical supplies, throughout Syria.
  • Tunisia: $600,000 for health assistance will help prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. The United States has invested more than $1.3 billion in total U.S. assistance for Tunisia over the past 20 years, including more than $7 million for health.
  • West Bank/Gaza: $5 million in IDA humanitarian assistance is helping provide immediate, life-saving assistance in the West Bank.
  • Yemen: More than $2.5 million in humanitarian assistance will support COVID-19 response efforts to help refugees, vulnerable migrants, internally displaced persons, and host communities. In the past 20 years, the United States has provided nearly $4 billion in total assistance for Yemen’s long-term development, including nearly $132 million for health.
  • Regional Efforts in the Middle East: $3 million in MRA humanitarian assistance to help vulnerable people during the pandemic.

Global:

  • Approximately $92.1 million in global and regional health and humanitarian programming is being provided worldwide through international organizations and NGOs, including for programs that support supply-chain management, new partnerships, monitoring and evaluation, and more.
  • $23 million to procure ventilators for key partners and Allies around the globe, fulfilling President Trump’s generous promises.
  • Nearly $9.8 million in MRA humanitarian assistance for the global response to COVID-19 to address the challenges posed by the pandemic in refugee, vulnerable migrant, internally displaced persons, and host communities.
  • $5 million in ESF for USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) will support civil society organizations (CSOs) to promote citizen-centered governance; respect for press and civic freedoms by monitoring legal protections for journalists and CSOs; provide legal assistance where COVID-related emergency laws have been used to restrict rights; ensure public health responses are non-discriminatory and counter efforts to blame or stigmatize marginalized groups related to COVID-19; promote media integrity and communicating responsible information on COVID-19; counter misinformation and disinformation; ensure the financial sustainability of independent media outlets. and provide support to human rights defenders to carry out their important work.
  • Nearly $4.3 million in ESF for USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (E3) to expand trade and access to education. With approximately $750,000 USAID will provide technical assistance and surge capacity to partner governments and USAID Missions on education responses to COVID-19, create a Global Working Group on Distance Learning in Crisis, and launch a Virtual Center of Excellence for Education Distance Learning for developing countries. With $3.5 million USAID will support a global public-private partnership to support partner governments to reduce trade barriers on medical devices and testing kits/instruments, and improve governments’ adherence to international standards for medical equipment.
  • $8 million in ESF for USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security (RFS) will support a multi-partner effort to mitigate pandemic-related shocks to the global food and agriculture system. Some policy responses in emerging economies to the pandemic are already negatively impacting local food systems, and food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition are growing concerns. USAID will produce data and analysis to help countries implement forward-looking policies; help small and medium-sized food and agriculture businesses shift business models and withstand the most severe impacts; and rapidly disseminate information in emerging economies about how consumers can safely participate in food and agriculture activities and markets amid COVID-19. The partnership includes collaborating with finance sector partners to unlock financing for small and medium-sized food and agribusinesses.
  • $2 million in ESF is planned for the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) to ensure survivors of gender-based violence (have access to emergency assistant

*Fact Sheet provided by State Department.Mohammed M. Mupenda is a news correspondent and freelance reporter, who has written for publications in the United States and abroad. He is also a French and East African language interpreter.

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Commonwealth health ministers agree to share advice and solutions in coronavirus battle
May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

Commonwealth health ministers have agreed to coordinate their response in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

Ministers endorsed removing fees for coronavirus tests and treatment, especially for migrants and refugees, as appropriate within national contexts, and creating a voluntary mechanism to share and distribute extra medical supplies including ventilators and testing kits.

They agreed on the need for solidarity and cooperation among Commonwealth countries and that close working with the World Health Organization throughout the crisis was vital.

This statement was released following the annual Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting held on 14 May.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “We are now participants at an inflection point in history, and how we will be seen will be determined by how we act, right now, in this moment.  

“The virus knows no nationality, race, religion, border or economic status. It is an interconnected issue threatening our global health and world economic order, and should be dealt with as such – guided by a culture of multilateral compassion and cooperation – not competition.

“At this critical moment, invigorated by our common pain and concern, Commonwealth countries have come together to provide the salve we need to deliver a coordinated multilateral response that will help thwart the pandemic and keep our citizens safe.”

Globally, around 4.7 million coronavirus cases have been reported. Half a million of these are in the Commonwealth. Seven member states are among 12 nations worldwide that have not reported any cases.

The fast-spreading virus has contracted economies, shattered income streams and forced millions of people to stay indoors.

Health ministers backed the need for unified action to recover from the economic turmoil accompanying the pandemic, while addressing critical health challenges and health systems’ vulnerability, particularly to recurring climate-related events.

The World Health Organization’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “While coronavirus is an unprecedented shock to the world; through national unity and global solidarity, we can save both lives and livelihoods.

“Across the Commonwealth, countries will need to balance the demands of responding directly to coronavirus, while also maintaining essential health services.”

Ministers pledged to keep essential health services running for non-COVID-19 patients with a critical non-communicable or infectious disease while dealing with an influx of coronavirus cases.

They agreed to work with finance ministers to promote sustainable strategies to finance the implementation of universal health coverage with a focus on providing health care to women, the elderly, young people, marginalised persons and those with mental illness without facing financial difficulty.

The Gambia’s health minister Ahmadou Lamin Samateh chaired the meeting.

He said: “Not since the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 2000s has health occupied such a central position in development policy.

“With an unprecedented pandemic, straining health systems and halting the global economy, the role of resilient health systems across the world has come into full focus.”

During the meeting, ministers presented effective national strategies to address the pandemic, which included a mass test, trace and isolate strategy, digital tools to monitor health status and track transmission routes and a clear communication line.

India is in line to chair the next Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting in 2021.

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Africa50 donates US$800,000, joins African Countries to help fight COVID-19
May 5, 2020 | 0 Comments

We stand in complete solidarity with all African nations and all our stakeholders around the world during these uncertain times, says Mr. Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50
Given the likely long-term effects of the pandemic, Africa50’s COVID-19 Relief Support Initiative will have three phases

Announces a grant of US$300,000 to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) for the purchase of test kits and other medical equipment and to mobilize frontline responders; provides US$500,000 to fund other targeted infection control and prevention activities in several African countries.

Africa50 , the pan-African infrastructure investment platform, has announced its COVID-19 Relief Support Initiative, which aims to support the continent’s fight against the pandemic. Under this initiative, Africa50 is providing US$800,000 to help contain the spread of the virus and minimize its impact. Given the likely long-term effects of the pandemic, Africa50’s COVID-19 Relief Support Initiative will have three phases, as follows:

The first phase focuses on helping countries deal with immediate public health needs through in-kind and cash donations. It comprises a US$300,000 grant to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), which will be used specifically for the purchase of test kits and other medical equipment and to mobilize frontline responders, as highlighted in the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19 led by the African Union, through Africa CDC.

In addition, Africa50 is donating US$500,000 to fund other targeted infection control and prevention activities in several African countries.
The second phase will focus on technology-enabled solutions that help address the unprecedented demand for digital health innovations, which was triggered by the pandemic. To that effect, Africa50 will support the deployment of digital solutions, as part of its Innovation Challenge, an initiative launched in 2019 to increase internet connectivity access in under-served areas in Africa.

The third phase will concentrate on medium to longer term solutions to support economic recovery and stabilization, including the implementation of major infrastructure projects.

On the occasion of this announcement, Mr. Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50, said “We stand in complete solidarity with all African nations and all our stakeholders around the world during these uncertain times. Beyond the tragic loss of human lives, the pandemic is projected to result in a decline in Africa’s GDP growth between 3 and 8 percent.”

He underlined Africa’s vulnerability to this new, rapidly evolving environment and stressed the need for diligent, impactful responses and continental cooperation. “Governments, the private sector, development institutions, and civil society have acted quickly, both to limit the spread of the virus and to prop up economies. Africa50 will play its part.”, he said.

“If we work together, we can limit the damage of the pandemic. This crisis underlines once again the urgency of improving the continent’s infrastructure to ensure that people can enjoy productive, happy, and healthy lives. We must therefore also continue to develop our project pipeline and evaluate new ones, as we prepare to support the continent’s recovery”, he added.

Africa50 is an infrastructure investment platform that contributes to Africa’s growth by developing and investing in bankable projects, catalyzing public sector capital, and mobilizing private sector funding, with differentiated financial returns and impact. Africa50’s investor base is currently composed of 28 African countries, the African Development Bank, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), and Bank Al-Maghrib.

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International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation extends US$100m COVID-19 Emergency Financing for purchasing wheat and sugar in favor of Egypt
May 4, 2020 | 0 Comments
Hani Salem Sonbol, ITFC CEO
ITFC intervention to help finance essential strategic food commodities in light of the impact of COVID-19

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) (www.ITFC-IDB.org), has signed a US$100 million financing agreement with the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) to cover the Egyptian Government’s essential strategic commodity needs during the outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Approval of the financing, which forms part of the ITFC’s Master Murabaha Agreement, enables Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities to mitigate the very worst human impacts of the coronavirus pandemic by securing food commodity imports.

From his side, H.E Dr. Ali Al-Mesilhi, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, affirmed that the Ministry of Supply represented by the General Authority for Supply Commodities appreciates and thanks the International Islamic Corporation for Trade Finance for the cooperation and continuous support, whether this year or previous years, that is demonstrated by the immediate response. Through this agreement, Egypt will meet the necessary and urgent needs in such exceptional circumstances that the Republic and the world as a whole are going through.

Commenting on the ITFC’s approval for the financing, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, ITFC CEO, said: “The financing that has been approved by the ITFC is specifically targeted at supporting the importation of critical basic commodities such as wheat and sugar, which are two staples that the mass population of Egypt depends upon. ITFC is absolutely committed to doing what it can to assist in achieving food security in Egypt during a time when national economies are struggling with the economic impact of this terrible new disease.” The amount will be used to purchase 240 thousand tonnes of wheat & 100 thousand tonnes of sugar.

The wheat policy is of strategic importance to the Egyptian Government to ensure food security for all Egyptians. Since 2018, ITFC has been supporting the Governments’ efforts through a trade finance facility benefiting the GASC, Egypt’s largest wheat purchaser. ITFC extended US$ 393 million which was utilized in 2019 for the import of 1.3 million tonnes of wheat and 130 thousand tonnes of rice.

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) (www.ITFC-IDB.org) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the primary objective of advancing trade among OIC Member Countries, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving socioeconomic conditions of the people across the world.  Since 2008, ITFC has provided more than US$51 billion to OIC Member Countries, making it the leading provider of trade solutions for the Member Countries’ needs. With a mission to become a catalyst for trade development for OIC Member Countries and beyond, the Corporation helps entities in Member Countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity building tools, which would enable them to successfully compete in the global market.
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Zambia on track to energy surplus following major boost in electricity production
May 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

Zambia’s constant power cuts are now a thing of the past. Thanks to a robust hydraulic and solar power generation industry in recent years, the country is now self-sufficient in energy.  And, there is even better news for citizens of the South African nation- electricity production could soon be in surplus.

Zambia generates practically all its energy production from its own primary resources: biomass, coal and hydroelectricity, with flagship plants such as the power station near the Itezhi-Tezhi Dam, in the south-east of the country, taking centre stage.

The $375 million Itezhi-Tezhi hydroelectric generating station became operational in 2016. The plant has a 120-megawatt capacity and is the fruit of the first public-private partnership project in the Zambian energy sector. Its primary objective has been to produce enough power to end the crippling daily blackouts and meet consumer needs of the country’s 17 million inhabitants.

Zambia stopped electricity imports in early 2018

Itezhi-Tezhi power plant has already increased the country’s power generation capacity by 7.5% and supplied an extra 50,000 people with electricity. In the first quarter of 2018, and for the first time in its history, Zambia stopped importing electricity from neighbouring countries such as Mozambique.

As far back as September 2017, national operator Zesco’s head of power transmission, Webster Musonda, told Ecofin agency: “Zambia’s power generation capacity has improved and will now be able to largely meet its energy needs.” “Overall, we will be able to meet demand and routine energy imports will cease […] but we will continue to import energy to meet occasional peaks in demand.”

The next step for the Government of Zambia includes plans for an energy surplus over the next two years. To meet this goal, it is exploring renewable energy, such as solar power.

The country’s new hydropower stations at the Musonda, Lusawaki and Kafue Gorge dams are important developments and in September 2018 the government inaugurated a 50 MW power plant at a cost of $60 million. An even more ambitious programme is under way, involving the construction of mini solar plants with an eventual overall capacity of 600 MW at an estimated cost of $1.2 billion.

The African Development Bank which is championing its High 5 development priorities, such as the “Light up and power Africa, initiative under which this project falls, contributed $55 million to the Itezhi-Tezhi plant.  Additional funding has been provided by international donors including the Netherlands Development Finance Company, the Development Bank of South Africa and Proparco France.

The Bank’s portfolio in Zambia currently includes 23 ongoing projects, amounting to an investment of one billion dollars, in three main sectors: transport, water and sanitation and agriculture.

Cross-border collaboration

A strong partnership with Zimbabwe has been the key to Zambia’s success. The two southern African neighbours are working on a major energy project on the Zambezi River, which marks their common border. The 2750 km long river is the fourth-largest on the continent.

The project, which has a projected output of at least 2400 MW, is to be built upstream of the Kariba dam, close to the famous Victoria Falls, at a cost of $3 billion.

Electricity output will be shared equally between Zambia and Zimbabwe, with excess production sold on to other member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SACD), according to the project’s initiators.

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EU’s €15.6 billion COVID-19 Global Response Package: Africa to Get sum of €4.6 billion
April 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is bid farewell by Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde after their meeting in Addis Ababa on December 7, 2019. – (Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS / AFP) (Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the Republic of The Gambia has relayed a media release containing the European body’s global response to the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, outlining financial assistance for partners countries, including those of Africa.

According to the release, the EU is readying a package of €15.6 billion to assist partner countries’ efforts in tackling the coronavirus pandemic and mitigate the socioeconomic impact.
Below is the full release

The European Commission and the High Representative set out plans for a robust and targeted EU response to support partner countries’ efforts in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

The EU’s collective action will focus on addressing the immediate health crisis and resulting humanitarian needs, strengthening partner countries’ health, water and sanitation systems and their research and preparedness capacities to deal with the pandemic, as well as mitigating the socioeconomic impact. To underpin these actions, the EU will secure financial support to partner countries amounting to more than €15.6 billion from existing external action resources. Together with our partners, we are making sure that the substantial EU funding already allocated to them is targeted to help them deal with the impact of coronavirus.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, commented: “The virus knows no borders. This global challenge needs strong international cooperation. The European Union is working tirelessly to fight the pandemic. We all know that only together we can stop the worldwide spread of the coronavirus. To that end, the EU will soon convene a virtual pledging event to help mobilise the necessary funding and support the World Health Organisation to assist the most vulnerable countries.”

High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell, added: “The coronavirus pandemic requires united, global action in response. The European Union and its Member States are playing their part in tackling this health crisis and its severe consequences – at home and abroad. While we are doing everything we can to provide support of our citizens, we also need to assist our partners in our direct neighbourhood and beyond to address the impact it will have on their livelihoods, stability and security, as their problems are our problems. This is a global fight that we will either win or lose together. Cooperation and joint efforts at the international level and multilateral solutions are the way forward, for a true global agenda for the future.”

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, explained: ”As long as the coronavirus threatens lives somewhere, we are not safe. This is the core of international cooperation and partnerships. We need to work together in order to tackle our shared challenges. Today the European Commission steps up and leads with this significant global response package of more than €15.6 billion the joint work with our partners, particularly in Africa, for a safer future for us all.”

Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner, Olivér Várhelyi, said: “As part of our global response to the coronavirus pandemic we are redirecting over €3.8 billion of foreseen funds for the Western Balkans and our immediate neighbours to the East and to the South, to where their real needs are today: for urgent response to the health crisis, to strengthen the health systems and to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the pandemic. We share a continent and we can only succeed together.”

Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, warned: “We are facing what could become the biggest humanitarian crisis in decades. The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the most fragile countries, migrants and the most vulnerable people is likely to be dramatic. This is particularly the case in the confined and often insalubrious setting of refugee and internally displaced people camps. That is why we need to respond vigorously to the public health emergency, make sure humanitarian actors continue to have access to carry out their life-saving assistance and support transport and logistic for key humanitarian operations.”

Team Europe package
The EU’s response follows a ‘Team Europe’ approach, aimed at saving lives by providing quick and targeted support to our partners to face this pandemic. It combines resources from the EU, its Member States and financial institutions, in particular the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to support partner countries and address their short-term needs, as well as the longer-term structural impacts on societies and the economy.

The first Team Europe packages are already being implemented in the immediate neighbourhood: the Western Balkans, in the East and to the South.

The EU, as global actor and major contributor to the international aid system, will promote a coordinated multilateral response, in partnership with the United Nations, International Financial Institutions, as well as the G7 and the G20.

The European Union will continue to adapt its response to the evolving situation and focus on the most affected countries in need of health support, such as countries in Africa, the Neighbourhood, the Western Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa, parts of Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The EU’s response will focus on the most vulnerable people, including migrants, refugees, internally displaced persons and their host communities and integrate its strategic objectives set out in the Green Deal and the Digital Agenda.

From the overall package of €15.6 billion, €3.25 billion are channelled to Africa, including €1.19 billion for the Northern African neighbourhood countries.

The EU is securing in total €3.07 billion for the whole neighbourhood – €2.1 billion for the South and €962 million for the Eastern Partner countries – and €800 million for the Western Balkans and Turkey.

In addition, the overall package includes another €1.42 billion in guarantees for Africa and the neighbourhood from the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD).

The EU will support Asia and the Pacific with €1.22 billion, another €291 million will go for the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific region, €918 million to support our partners in Latin America and the Caribbean and €111 million to support Oversees Countries and Territories.

Delivering the EU global response package in practice
€502 million for Emergency response actions focused amongst others, on:

· Providing immediate support to the Response Plans of the World Health Organisation and the United Nations, as well as to the appeal of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to boost emergency preparedness and response in countries with weaker health systems and those dealing with humanitarian crises;

·Providing immediate humanitarian support in affected countries, in particular in health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and logistics;

· Supporting increased production in Europe of personal protective equipment and medical devices to meet urgent needs in Europe and in partner countries;

·  Organising the supply of in-kind assistance to affected countries through the Union Civil Protection Mechanism;

· Providing guarantee and liquidity provisions to local banks via International Financial Institutions and European Development Finance Institutions, supported by the European Fund for Sustainable Development;

· Supporting global efforts to combat export restrictions and ensure supply chains remain intact, notably for essential medical supplies and pharmaceuticals;

· Associating the Western Balkans to EU initiatives such as the Joint Procurement Agreement for


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Merck foundation together with First Lady of Mozambique announce ‘Stay at Home’ Media Recognition Awards
April 10, 2020 | 0 Comments
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation with H.E. Dr. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, First Lady of Mozambique
Merck Foundation marks World Health Day together with Mozambique First Lady to raise awareness on Coronavirus

MAPUTO, Mozambique, April 9, 2020/ — Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com), the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany together with First Lady of Mozambique, H.E. Dr. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, announced the call for applications for their ‘Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards in Mozambique. The theme of the awards is ‘Raising Awareness on how to Stay Safe and keep Physically and Mentally Healthy during Coronavirus Lockdown’.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation explains, “This is how we mark World Health Day. The ‘Stay at Home’ Media Recognition Award will encourage media to sensitize our communities. Raising awareness about corona virus in our communities will contribute to supporting health workers who are at the forefront of COVID-19 response – providing high quality, respectful treatment and care, it will also enhance their great efforts in leading community dialogue to address fears and questions. Our hearts and thoughts are with them”.

“This unsettling period due to the coronavirus scare is difficult for everyone – both physically and mentally. While most countries are under complete lockdown or restricted movement, people do not know how to handle this situation. Social Distancing is our Social Responsibility and the only way to kill Coronavirus, however, it will take a lot of courage and discipline to practice it. Taking good care of your mental and physical health is important during this period. Therefore, we decided to initiate these awards in order to reward the journalists who are raising awareness in most effective and creative way on how to keep safe and keep physically & mentally healthy during this phase”, added Dr. Rasha Kelej.

The awards are open to all the journalists from Print, Online, Radio and Multimedia Platforms from Mozambique and other Portuguese speaking countries along with English speaking, French speaking and Arabic speaking African countries. The most creative and influential media work aiming to raise awareness and sensitizing communities about this alarming topic at a regular basis will be eligible to win these awards.

Merck Foundation will extend the awards to include Middle Eastern, Latin American and Asian Countries in the next few days to involve all media across the global South. 

“Since most of the people are confined to their homes, they are spending a lot of time reading and listening to news through different platforms. Media professionals, it is your time to help the people to take care good care of their mental & physical health during these disturbing times, through your creative, informational and motivational work. You can guide them to adjust to their new and different routine & rhythm of life”, emphasized Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Details of the Merck Foundation “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards

Who can Apply:

Journalists from Print, Online, Radio and Multimedia Platforms from Mozambique and other Portuguese speaking; English speaking; French speaking and Arabic speaking African countries

Last date of submission:

Entries can be submitted till 30th June 2020

How to apply?

Entries can be submitted via Email to info@merck-foundation.com
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Merck Foundation joins hands with First Ladies of Africa to raise awareness about Coronavirus and how to stay safe and healthy
April 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation with H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry; H.E FATIMA MAADA, The First Lady of Sierra Leone; H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi; H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia; H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of Burundi; H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADO, The First Lady of Niger; H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic; H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana; H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Republic of Liberia; H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville; H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia; H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGW, The First Lady of Zimbabwe; H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana; H.E. DR. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique and Former First Lady of Mauritania
Merck Foundation announces special awards during Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown and movement restriction, “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards for African Countries to encourage media to be creative and effective in raising awareness and sensitizing Communities on how to stay safe and keep physically and mentally healthy during Coronavirus lockdown

ACCRA, Ghana, April 6, 2020/ — Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com), the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany together with African First Ladies of Ghana, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Namibia, Niger, Guinea Conakry, Burundi, Central African Republic (C.A.R.), Chad, Zimbabwe, Zambia, The Gambia, Liberia and Congo Brazzaville, announced the call for applications for their ‘Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards for African countries. The theme of the awards is ‘Raising Awareness on how to Stay Safe and keep Physically and Mentally Healthy during Coronavirus Lockdown’.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation explains, “This unsettling period due to the coronavirus scare is difficult for everyone – both physically and mentally. While most countries are under complete lockdown or restricted movement, people do not know how to handle this situation. Social Distancing is our Social Responsibility and the only way to kill Coronavirus, however, it will take a lot of courage and discipline to practice it. Taking good care of your mental and physical health is important during this period. So, we decided to initiate these awards in order to reward the journalists who are raising awareness in most effective and creative way on how to keep safe and keep physically & mentally healthy during this phase”.

All the journalists from Print, Online, Radio and Multimedia Platforms from English speaking, French speaking, Arabic speaking and Portuguese speaking African countries are invited to send their entries for the awards. The most creative and influential media work aiming to raise awareness and sensitizing communities about this alarming topic at a regular basis will be eligible to win these awards.

“We have created four categories for Africa; English, French, Portuguese and Arabic speaking countries”, Dr Kelej added.

Merck Foundation will extend the awards to include Middle Eastern, Latin American and Asian Countries in the next few days to involve all media across the global South. 

“Since most of the people are confined to their homes, they are spending a lot of time reading and listening to news through different platforms. Media professionals, it is your time to help the people to take care good care of their mental & physical health during these disturbing times, through your creative, informational and motivational work. You can guide them to adjust to their new and different routine & rhythm of life”, emphasized Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Details of the Merck Foundation “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards

Who can Apply:

Journalists from Print, Online, Radio and Multimedia Platforms from English speaking, French speaking, Arabic speaking and Portuguese speaking African countries

Last date of submission:

Entries can be submitted till 30th June 2020

How to apply?

Entries can be submitted via Email to info@merck-foundation.com along with your details (including Name, Gender, Country, Media house, Email address & Mobile Number) and entry as an attachment

Categories and Prize Money:
Category
TV USD 500
Radio USD 500
Print USD 500
Online USD 500
Prize Money USD 500

*Merck Foundation


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African Development Bank approves $1.5 million emergency grant to curb desert locusts ravaging East and Horn of Africa
April 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
2020-02-14 Kiaruni/Kenya Swarm of 40-50 million adult desert locust hits millet fields in dmall Kenyan village – By Nicole Macheroux-Denault
The proposed assistance will be channeled to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, April 2, 2020/ — The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) on Wednesday approved a $1.5 million emergency relief grant to assist nine countries in the East and Horn of Africa on the control of swarms of desert locusts that are threatening livelihoods and food security.

The proposed assistance will be channeled to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which has been mandated to mobilize resources on behalf of the African Union.

IGAD is collaborating with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which is leading coordination of development partner support to provide desert locust invasion control, safeguard of livelihoods and to promote early recovery of affected households in the in the East and Horn of Africa. FAO will act as the Executing Agency for the grant.

The funds will be used to control the spread of the current locust invasion, prevent potential next-generation swarms and to conduct impact assessment and monitoring to enhance preparedness and awareness. A portion of the funds would also be allocated to administrative costs.

The nine beneficiary countries are Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.

Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia have been particularly hard hit by the outbreak and widespread breeding of locusts that is expected to create new swarms in the coming weeks. The infestation poses an unprecedented risk to livelihoods and food security in an already fragile region and has caused huge damage to agricultural production.

In Ethiopia and Somalia, the outbreak is the worst in 25 years, and in Kenya, in 70 years.

In Ethiopia, the locusts have devastated more than 30,000 hectares of crops, including coffee and tea that account for about 30% of the nation’s exports. Despite government’s interventions, swarms and breeding have been reported in large parts of the country. In Djibouti, over 80% of 1,700 agro-pastoral farms located in 23 production zones are affected by desert locust infestations.

At least 18 of 47 Kenyan counties are affected with more than 70,000 hectares of crops under infestation according to recent FAO reports. Locust swarms are devastating pastureland, maize, cowpeas, beans and other crops despite the government’s efforts to curb the outbreak.

Locust swarms are reportedly also threatening Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Sudan and Eritrea.

Efforts to control the infestations will require around $147 million, of which $75 million has been provided by governments, donors and UN agencies including FAO and the World Food Program (WFP). However, a significant funding shortfall remains.

*AFDB
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World Bank Approves $10 Million Grant to Gambia to Fight COVID-19
April 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

The World Bank has announced Tuesday its approval of $10 million to support The Gambia’s COVID-19 response.

The grant is approved from the International Development Association (IDA) for the country to provide emergency assistance in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 Response and Preparedness Project will enhance case detection, tracing, and reporting, as well as provide equipment to isolation and treatment centers, and improve disease surveillance and diagnostic capacity,” the statement from Washington stated.

It will also focus on risk communications and community engagement for increased awareness and compliance with prevention and social distancing measures.

“This rapid response operation draws from the World Bank Group’s $14 billion package of fast-track financing to help countries in their efforts to prevent, detect and respond to the spread of COVID-19,” said Ms. Elene Imnadze, Resident Representative for The Gambia.

“It provides the financing needed to strengthen coordination with partners and implement the Government’s National COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan.”

The World Bank Group is rolling out a $14 billion fast-track package to strengthen the COVID-19 response in developing countries and shorten the time to recovery.

The immediate response includes financing, policy advice and technical assistance to help countries cope with the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.

The statement indicated that the IFC is providing $8 billion in financing to help private companies affected by the pandemic and preserve jobs. IBRD and IDA are making an initial $6 billion available for the health-response.

“As countries need broader support, the World Bank Group will deploy up to $160 billion over 15 months to protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery.”

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Development bank for Central African States disburse 90 Billion FCFA to circumvent economic impact of Coronavirus
April 2, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

CEMAC Leaders at a 2019 Summit in Yaounde ,Cameroon.Photo credit PRC.

The Development Bank of Central African States, BDEAC is finalizing plans to doll out cira 90 billion francs CFA to governments of the six member states of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, CEMAC, to enable them cushion the negative economic impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

This was the major decision reached when Finance Ministers of CEMAC met in Brazzaville, the Congolese capital on March 29, to ponder on the economic slum looming within the sub region, nay the world, because of the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak worldwide.

During what they categorized as an extraordinary meeting, Finance Ministers from Cameroon, Chad Republic, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic and Congo Brazzaville took much time in analyzing the impact of this pandemic on the economic fabric of their nations and the sub region in general.

They noted that with the drastic fall in price of a barrel of oil and the drop in trade deals across the sub region, Africa and the world, there was a need for such a subsidy to enable CEMAC member states face the crisis situation.

In a press release issued by the Permanent Secretary of the CEMAC Economic and Financial Reform Programme, PREFCEMAC, the Bank of Central African States, BEAC will make this money available to the sub region’s development bank. PREFCEMAC specified that the money will be channeled to finance public projects relating to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the strengthening of health systems within member states.

Before this decision emanated from the extraordinary meeting of CEMAC Finance Ministers, the sub regional development bank had already dished out 500 million francs CFA to each member state to enable governments take precautionary measures as the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic was announced.

Development and Central Bank officials also announced that BEAC will double the weekly credits it normally gives to credit banks. This will rise from 250 billion francs CFA to 500 billion francs per week.

This is also in line with the statutes of the monetary policy committee which met a few days before the Finance Ministers’ met and deliberated by videoconference.

The sub region’s monetary officials also assured that all interest rates normally attributed to calls for tender will be lowered by 25 basis points, as well as the revised marginal loan facility rate by 100 points.

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Three Things the G20 must do to support Africa in COVID-19 Pandemic
March 26, 2020 | 0 Comments
The G20 Summit 2019 in Osaka, Japan .Photo Reuters
The G20 Summit 2019 in Osaka, Japan .Photo Reuters

Addis Ababa, 26 March 2020 (ECA) – This is a global crisis affecting the whole world. Africa, however, will be hit harder with a heavy and durable economic toll, which will threaten progress and prospects, widen inequalities between and within countries, and worsen current fragilities.

African countries need support in preparing for the health crisis, and for the economic fallout. The measures being taken in Asia, Europe and North America such as physical (social) distancing and regular hand washing will be a particular challenge for countries with limited internet connectivity, dense populations, unequal access to water and limited social safety nets.

In line with the steps being taken across the globe, African countries are preparing for the worst effects of this pandemic.

Here are the three things the G20 must do:

1. Support for an immediate health and human response

a. G20 leaders should support and encourage open trade corridors, especially for pharmaceuticals and other health supplies, as well as support for the upgrade of health infrastructure and provide direct support to existing facilities. This will enable countries to focus on prevention as much as possible and start building curative facilities. Support should be provided to WHO and CDC Africa with funds channelled through the Global Fund, GAVI and others.

b. G20 leaders should support public health campaigns and access to information including through an expedited private sector partnership for internet connectivityto enable economic activity to continue during social distancing measures and to support the effective sharing of information about the pandemic.

2. Deliver an immediate emergency economic stimulus to African governments in their efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic

a. G20 leaders should announce a US$100 billion (in addition to the $50bn already committed) to fund the immediate health response, social safety nets for the most vulnerable, feeding for out of school children, and to protect jobs. As a proportion of GDP this is consistent with measures taken in other regions. To ensure immediate fiscal space and liquidity, this package should include a waiver of all interest payments, estimated at US$44 billion for 2020.

b. G20 leaders should support a waiver on principal and interest for African Fragile States such as the Sahel, Central African Republic and others who are already struggling with the burden of debt and have limited fiscal space.

c. G20 leaders should endorse for enhanced predictability, transparency and accountability of financial flows so finance ministers can plan effectively and civil society stakeholders can help track flows to ensure reach those most in need.

3. Implement emergency measures to protect 30 million jobs immediately at risk across the continent, particularly in the tourism and airline sectors.

a. G20 leaders should take measures to support agricultural imports and exports, the pharmaceutical sector and the banking sector. An extended credit facility, refinancing schemes and guarantee facilities should be used to waive, restructure and provide additional liquidity in 2020.

b. G20 leaders should support a liquidity line available to the private sector operating in Africa to ensure essential purchases can continue and all SMEs dependent on trade can continue to function.

c. G20 leaders should ensure that national and regional stimulus packages covering private and financial systems include measures to support African businesses through allowing for the suspension of leasing, debt and other repayments to global businesses

*Economic assessments of the impact of COVID-19  presented to the African Ministers of Finance can be found here: uneca.org/vc-covid19-impact-africa

*Source ECA

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Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations donate COVID-19 Medical Equipment to African Union Member States
March 23, 2020 | 0 Comments
Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the Government of Ethiopia received a consignment of medical equipment

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 23, 2020/ — Africa’s response to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak received a boost today as the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the Government of Ethiopia received a consignment of medical equipment from the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations.

The shipment included over 1.5 million laboratory diagnostic test kits and over 100 tons of infection prevention and control commodities.

This relief initiative was launched by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr Abiy Ahmed, the Jack Ma Foundation, and Alibaba Foundation as part of actions towards implementation of the Africa joint continental strategy for COVID-19 led by the African Union through Africa CDC.

“On behalf of the Chairperson of the African Union, His Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa, we thank the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations for this generous hospitality and contribution to the continent. We thank His Excellency the Prime Minister, and the Government of Ethiopia, for facilitating the donation,” said H.E. Mr Edward Xolisa Makaya, South Africa’s Permanent Representative to Ethiopia and the African Union. 

“This is a great honour and initiative and a great sign of solidarity that the world needs at this critical time. The test kits and other materials will support African countries in their fight against this outbreak. We are facing a humanitarian situation, an economic situation and a security situation in the continent and Africa CDC clearly applauds the initiative of the prime minister and the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations,” said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC. 

The COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread rapidly across the continents of the world claiming thousands of lives and huge resources. In just about three months it has caused over 12,000 deaths worldwide and impacted socioeconomic activities, particularly tourism and transport. 

Ethiopian Airlines will help distribute the equipment, consisting 20,000 laboratory diagnostic test kits, 100,000 medical masks, and 1000 protective suits and face shields, to each of the Member States as part of their contribution to the fight against COVID-19 in Africa. 

“We appeal to our ministries of health to ensure that these materials are distributed and used where they are mostly needed,” said H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Idriss Farah, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Djibouti, Dean of African Diplomatic Corps, and Chair of the African Union Peace and Security Council.
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Merck Foundation meets the President of Namibia to underscore their long-term partnership with the First Lady of Namibia to break infertility stigma
March 20, 2020 | 0 Comments

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation & President, Merck More Than a Mother with H:E President Hage Geingob and  H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation & President, Merck More Than a Mother with H:E President Hage Geingob and H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother

Merck Foundation launched their programs in partnership with Namibia’s First Lady together with Ministry of Health & Social Service and Ministry of Education

Merck Foundation to train doctors in the fields Cancer, Diabetes and Fertility Care to build healthcare capacity in the country

Merck Foundation to train media to break the stigma of infertility in partnership with The First Lady of Namibia

Windhoek, Namibia: Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany underscored their commitment to break infertility stigma and build healthcare capacity in Namibia during their high-level meeting held at the State House between The Head of State of Namibia, H.E. HAGE GEINGOB, The F irst Lady of Namibia, H.E MONICA GEINGOS and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation. The objective of the meeting was to explain and discuss the programs of Merck Foundation, which were launched in partnership with Namibia First Lady and Ministry of Health & Social Service and Ministry of Education.

H.E. HAGE GEINGOB, the President of Namibia emphasized “Namibia needs t he programs of Merck Foundation break Infertility Stigma and train media t o sensit ize communities about health and sensitive issues. Moreover, the training programs for specialized doctors are very critical for our people and their social and economic well- being. I wholeheartedly support Merck Foundation in our country, to enable the success of all their programs.”

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation & President, Merck More Than a Mother with H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia & Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother during the launch event

The First lady of Namibia and Ambassador of Merck More than a Mother, H.E. Mrs. MONICA GEINGOS emphasized the importance of this campaign to break the silence of the Namibian women who suffered from the stigma of infert ilit y . Also emphasized the critical role her office is going to play to be the voice of these women to empower them through advocacy, access to information and change of mindset.

“I am very happy and proud of partnership with the First Lady of Namibia and Ambassador of Merck More than a Mother. This partnership will help us to break the stigma of infertility and empower childless women through access to information, health and change of mindset. It will also help us to train specialized doctors in t he fields of Diabetes, Oncology and Fertility care which will contribute significantly towards social and economic development in Namibia. We are committed to lead Africa to a better future through changing the landscape of healthcare in the continent”, emphasized Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Merck Foundation also plans to introduce other unique initiatives in t he c ountry t o create the desired culture shift with regard to breaking the stigma around infertility.

“Few initiatives include announcing the ‘Merck More than a Mother’ Media Recognition Award and Health Media Training for the first time in the country in partnership with The First Lady of Namibia together with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education. Also, launching an inspiring children storybook of Paulus and Limbikani to strengthen family values of love and respect since young ages which will reflect on eliminating the stigma of infertility and result ed domest ic violence in the future. Also, involving Fashion industry to deliver the message of breaking the stigma of infertile women to the community in day to day life which will be achieved by out ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Fashion Awards for Namibia and rest of Africa. We will also be launching our special project ‘Education Linda’, which helps young girls who are unprivileged but brilliant to continue their education.”, added Dr. Rasha Kelej.

About Merck Oncology Fellowship Program

The Merck Oncology Fellowship Program, a key initiative of Merck Cancer Access Program, focuses on building additional capacity through medical education and training.

The lack of financial means is not the only challenge in Africa and developing countries, but a scarcity of trained health care personnel capable to tackle the prevention, early diagnosis and management of cancer at all levels of the health care systems is even a bigger challenge.

Merck Oncology Fellowship Program focuses on building professional cancer care capacity with the aim to increase the limited number of oncologists in Africa and Developing countries. The program provides One-year fellowship program at Tata Memorial Centre – India, One and hal f – years Oncology Fellowship programs at University of Malaya – Malaysia, Two years Oncology Fellowship Program at University of Nairobi – Kenya and Two years Master degree in Medical Oncology at Cairo University – Egypt, in partnership with African Ministries of Health, Local Governments and Academia.

Launched in 2016, Merck Foundation has trained more than 80 Oncology Care Specialists from 26 countries which are: Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, DRC , Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinee, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign

“Merck More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets. This powerful campaign supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe and effective fertility care. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for fertility specialists and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.

With “Merck More Than a Mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility on all levels: By improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child.

The Ambassadors of “Merck More Than a Mother” are: H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana H.E. FATOUMATTA BAHBARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of Burundi H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADO, The First Lady of Niger H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad H.E. C LAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia H.E FATIMA MAADA, The First Lady of Sierra Leone H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOUNGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia H.E. SYLVIA BONGO ONDIMBA, The First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe

Merck Foundation is making history in many African countries where they never had fertility specialists or specialized fertility clinics before ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ intervention, to train the first fertility specialists such as; in Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Gambia, Niger, Chad, Guinea, Ethiopia and Uganda.

Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck More than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as;

‘Merck More than a Mother’ Media Recognition Awards and Health Media Training

• ‘Merck More than a Mother’ Fashion Awards • ‘Merck More than a Mother’ Film Awards

• Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it

• Children storybook, localized for each country

*Source Merck Foundation

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NIGERIA: FORTHCOMING REPORT TO HIGHLIGHT IMPROVING INVESTOR SENTIMENT AS PROJECT PIPELINE MOVES FORWARD
March 19, 2020 | 0 Comments

Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission signs new MoU with Oxford Business Group

Wen Qian Chang, OBG Country Director and Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary, NIPC

Nigeria’s efforts to attract foreign investment for sectors of its economy earmarked for growth, despite the challenging external environment prompted by the coronavirus, will be mapped out in a new report by the global research and advisory firm Oxford Business Group (OBG).

The Report: Nigeria 2020 will shine a spotlight on the country’s plans to roll out new transport and other infrastructure projects in the coming years as part of a broader bid to accommodate its growing population and rising levels of urbanisation.

Key topics explored will include the growing emphasis on public-private partnerships in Nigeria’s infrastructural drive that is supporting a push to increase the part played by the private sector in the economy.

With the delayed Dangote refinery back in the spotlight in December, when the huge crude distillation column was inaugurated, The Report: Nigeria 2020 will consider the significant contribution that the facility will make to the national economy by processing local crude and, in turn, reducing fuel imports.

There will also be wide-ranging coverage of Nigeria’s ICT development, which is proving to be crucial in helping the country to reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons and encourage entrepreneurial activity.

In addition, OBG will look at both the benefits that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, signed by Nigeria in July 2019, is expected to bring in terms of strengthening trade and commercial activity across the continent, and the challenges that could hinder its success.

The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has signed a further memorandum of understanding (MoU) with OBG for its forthcoming publication. Under the agreement, the commission will once again help OBG to carry out the research for The Report: Nigeria 2020 and other content that will be made available across its platforms.

Welcoming the partnership, Wen Qian Chang OBG’s Country Director in Abuja, said she looked forward to teaming up again with the NIPC, which, she added, was one of the Group’s longstanding partners.

“Despite global problems, such as the current coronavirus outbreak and lower oil prices, Nigeria remains an attractive emerging market for the international business community, buoyed by a rapidly growing middle-class population and abundant natural resources,” she said. “Our research for The Report: Nigeria 2020 has already highlighted an uptick in business confidence this year.

The Report: Nigeria 2020 willmark the culmination of more than 12 months of field research by a team of analysts from Oxford Business Group. It will be a vital guide to the many facets of the country, including its macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments.

OBG’s publication will contain contributions from leading representatives across the public and private sectors. It will be produced with the NIPC, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


Oxford Business Group
 (OBG) is a global research and advisory company with a presence in over 30 countries, from Africa, Asia and the Middle East to The Americas. A distinctive and respected provider of on-the-ground intelligence on the world’s fastest growing markets for sound investment opportunities and business decisions. 

Through its range of products – Economic News and Views; The OBG CEO Survey; OBG Events and Conferences; Global Platform, which hosts exclusive video interviews; The Report publications – and its Advisory division, OBG offers comprehensive and accurate analysis of macroeconomic and sectoral developments. 

OBG provides business intelligence to its subscribers through multiple platforms, including its own verified subscribers and the ones of Dow Jones Factiva, Bloomberg Terminal, Refinitiv’s Eikon (previously Thomson Reuters), Factset and more.

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GE Healthcare and ECHOLAB Radiology Train over 200 Healthcare Professionals in Two Workshops across Lagos and Abuja
March 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

GE Healthcare and ECOLAB Radiology team during the training
The training was designed for hospital professionals including radiologists, radiographers, specialists, and general practitioners
LAGOS, Nigeria, March 16, 2020/ — GE Healthcare (www.GEHealthcare.com) in collaboration with ECHOLAB Radiology and Laboratory Services has held two medical clinical workshops in a week across Abuja and Lagos, Nigeria. The events have benefitted over 200 healthcare professionals. The training forums themed ‘Elevating Radiology’ focused on topics including Computed Tomography (CT) & Magnetic Resonance imaging (MRI) in stroke management, among other topics which will help practitioners optimize their work. The training was designed for hospital professionals including radiologists, radiographers, specialists, and general practitioners.

Speaking about the forum, Eyong Ebai, General Manager, West, Central & French Sub-Saharan Africa for GE Healthcare. said, “Precise diagnosis is a result of quality imaging services done by well-equipped and well-trained clinicians. This can greatly help to improve patient satisfaction and the bottom line of both public and private healthcare providers. We are honored to collaborate with ECHOLAB to ensure Nigeria’s medical professionals are equipped with the right skills to continue providing better outcomes for patients.”

Training and skill development have become an essential ingredient in ensuring the efficiency of healthcare staff. Rapidly developing technologies and constant updates in procedures mean that staff need to continually reevaluate their training needs. GE Healthcare’s objectives with the workshops, is to provide equipment’s users with opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills to optimize equipment usage, clinical practice and patient care.

Pius Ihimekpen, Sales and Marketing Director of ECHOLAB said, “Our mission is to provide world class practice delivery of diagnostic services in Nigeria as the ultimate one stop shop with a full range of diagnostic services to investigate a wide range of illnesses and conditions. The trainings delivered in collaboration with GE Healthcare are important in our experts keep up with technological advancements in the healthcare industry and remain relevant in providing patient-centred services.”

Training and education are key to strengthening healthcare systems. GE has a strong commitment to advance education, skills development of healthcare professionals to promote local capacity across Africa. GE Healthcare has established three healthcare training centres and one innovation center to serve the continent. Additionally, GE’s Lagos Garage, launched in 2016 to support SME development in Nigeria has trained 1,000 entrepreneurs so far, to use the latest in advanced manufacturing technologies; 3D printers, CNC mills, and laser cutters as well as business development.
About GE Healthcare:
GE Healthcare (www.GEHealthcare.com) is the $19.9 billion healthcare business of GE (NYSE: GE). As a leading provider of medical imaging, monitoring, biomanufacturing, and cell and gene therapy technologies, GE Healthcare enables precision health in diagnostics, therapeutics and monitoring through intelligent devices, data analytics, applications and services. With over 100 years of experience in the healthcare industry and more than 50,000 employees globally, the company helps improve outcomes more efficiently for patients, healthcare providers, researchers and life sciences companies around the world. 
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