AfDB unveils $10b response as COVID-19 cases hit 10,000 on continent
• IOM urges prioritisation of migrants’ health
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) yesterday announced the creation of COVID-19 Response Facility to assist member-states fight the epidemic.
Nigeria alone is seeking $1 billion to contain the spread of the pandemic that had infested some 250 people and killed six others nationwide.
The facility, the bank said in a statement from its headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire, is the latest measure taken to respond to the scourge and would be the institution’s primary channel for its efforts to address the crisis.
It is providing up to $10 billion to governments and the private sector to undertake the war.
AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, said the package took into account the fiscal challenges that many African countries were facing.
His words: “Africa is facing enormous fiscal challenges to respond to the coronavirus pandemic effectively. The African Development Bank Group is deploying its full weight of emergency response support to assist Africa at this critical time. We must protect lives. This facility will help African countries to fast-track their efforts to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19.”
The response entails $5.5 billion for sovereign operations in African Development Bank countries, and $3.1 billion for sovereign and regional operations for countries under the African Development Fund, the group’s concessional arm that caters to fragile countries. An additional $1.35 billion will be devoted to private sector operations.
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said COVID-19 cases had hit 10,000 and accounted for 500 deaths on the continent.
He made the disclosure in a statement yesterday in Maiduguri, Borno State
She noted that cases were initially confined to global capital cities, noting that a significant number of countries in Africa are now reporting incidents in multiple provinces.
Also confirming the increase, a group, Save the Children International Nigeria, said some of the most vulnerable children and their families across Africa who depend on the informal economy for their livelihoods are, and would, increasingly be impacted by measures designed to stop the spread of the virus.
The submission was contained in a statement by its Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, Amanuel Mamo.
Moreover, four Nigerians have been detained by soldiers in Cotonou, the Republic of Benin after 14 days of COVID-19 quarantine for refusing to pay N900,000 each for accommodation.
The Nigerians, who arrived from different parts of Europe and America, were forcefully taken to the hotel by the security officers after they were stopped from continuing their journey to Nigeria.
The revelation was contained in a voice mail from one of the detainees.
Also yesterday, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) called for utmost attention for the health of migrants.
The call was made by its Public Information Officer in Nigeria, Jorge Garlindo, while making a presentation at the online summit tagged “Migration and COVID-19 organised by the Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) in Lagos.
According to the president of JIFORM, Ajibola Abayomi, the seminar was part of the training to boost capacity for over 150 journalists covering migration across the continents as members of the body.
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