The African Union has raised US$44 million for its Coronavirus Response Fund but this commendable effort was not good enough for the member states to use to contain the deadly virus, APA learnt on Monday.Speaking during a virtual fund-raising webinar for the AU Covid-19 Response Fund, AU Chairperson and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said more funds were needed to meet the challenges of the worldwide virus which has hit African countries hard.
“I want to thank all the countries on the continent who have contributed (to the fund) as well as our donor community partners and the continental and international business fraternity.
“However, we need to raise at least a further US$300 million to ensure assistance is provided to societies and countries in need, and to enable us to weather the health and economic storm in the weeks, months and years ahead,” Ramaphosa said.
The fund was set up in April this year to mitigate the social, economic and humanitarian impact of the pandemic across the continent.
As a financial instrument to mobilise and manage funds from the private sector and other stakeholders, the AU said the facility funded the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention which are playing key roles in the continental response to the disease.
With eight months gone since the first reported case of the coronavirus in Africa, over one million people have been infected with the virus, and nearly 28,000 people have lost their lives.
“This pandemic will continue to be with us for a long time to come. Its effects on human health, on our societies and on our economies have been dire, and we are only now starting to fully comprehend the scale of the devastation,” Ramaphosa said.
He noted that for Africa to continue with prevention efforts, health care and case management for its people, “the fund has to mobilise additional resources as quickly as possible.”