Nigeria and other countries across Africa will benefit from a 20 million Pounds funding to combat the COVID 19 scourge, the United Kingdom, UK International Development Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan has revealed.
This makes the UK the largest national donor to the fund which was announced by Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairperson of the African Union (AU) and South Africa President last month.
It said that the fund would tackle the pandemic by recruiting African health experts and deploying them where they are needed most thereby strengthening global tracking of the pandemic.
It noted that it would also combat potentially harmful misinformation, providing specialists with coronavirus training for health workers, and making information about the virus more accessible to the public.
“As the UK faces its biggest peacetime challenge in tackling coronavirus, it’s never been more important to work with our partners in Africa to fight disease.
No one is safe until we are all safe and this new funding and support for African leadership will help protect us all in the UK, Africa, and around the world from further spread of the virus, “Trevelyan was quoted as saying in the statement.
Ms. Laing said the money would assist in finding a vaccine, providing vital humanitarian relief, feeding the world’s poorest people, strengthening global healthcare systems, and managing the risk of a global economic downturn.
Speaking on the contribution, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing said: “The truly global scale of the current crisis means that international cooperation and solidarity is more
important than ever.”
She said that the 20 million Pounds UK funding contribution to the African Union would provide important additional support to Nigeria and other countries across Africa.
The British High Commissioner said that it was a testament to the fact that the UK stands shoulder to shoulder with Nigeria in their collective challenge to defeat the terrible virus.
“This new support for the African Union comes after the UK has already pledged over 900 million dollars to the international fight against coronavirus.
“The UK is also using its existing aid programs to help vulnerable countries in Africa to strengthen their health systems.
“It also comes ahead of the UK hosting the virtual Global Vaccine Summit on June 4, to secure future funding for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which has already saved the lives of millions of children in Africa from infectious diseases
“Many countries on the continent are beginning to see exponential increases in case numbers, presenting a severe risk to fragile healthcare systems,” Ms. Laing said.
She noted that the high prevalence of HIV, malnutrition, and other illnesses in parts of Africa may also worsen the impact of the virus.
“Today’s announcement brings the total UK aid contribution to fighting coronavirus to up to £764 million ($935.6 million),” she said.