High-level partnership launched to fight Covid-19 in Africa

APA-Dakar (Senegal)

A new partnership bringing together private enterprise and the UK’s leading non-profit humanitarian organisation for children has been formed to tackle the challenges posed by Covid-19 in Africa.

The African Pandemic Response Alliance (APRA), made up of businesses and financial experts with deep knowledge of and connections to Africa, has joined forces with Save the Children UK to help contain and prevent the spread of Covid-19 in African nations, and address the impact of the pandemic on children in these communities.

 Founded by Dawda Jawara, a lawyer and investment adviser, APRA partners include the African Union, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Altica Partners, Aramex, Asoko Insight, Baylis Emerging Markets, Cohen and Gresser LLP, and VIA Global Health.

“It is a privilege to be joining forces with our partners and Save the Children to help prevent the spread of coronavirus in Africa. As professionals and entrepreneurs with deep ties to the continent, we couldn’t sit back and do nothing,” Dawda Jawara III, Founder of APRA and Partner at Altica Partners, said in a statement sent to APA.

Together with Save the Children, APRA has launched the Africa Pandemic Response Campaign to fund activities which will help reduce the impact on children and their families, such as providing personal protective equipment to health workers, running remote training and handwashing campaigns, and implementing testing and tracking systems.

“The combination of our networks, knowledge and our presence in affected communities across Africa will enable us to provide immediate and meaningful support to vulnerable children and their families affected by Covid-19,” Keith Kibirango, Head of Africa Philanthropy at Save the Children, said.

The campaign will initially focus on higher risk countries such as Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.  Other countries will be included on a case-by-case basis.

According to Kibirango, in countries already grappling with food crises and health challenges, Save the Children is working to help to slow the spread of coronavirus, distribute protective equipment and medical supplies, ensure children’s nutrition and vaccinations are not falling behind, and grow our network of community health workers.

 As for Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), containment and preventive measures are critical to ensuring that Covid-19 caseloads in Africa remain low and already fragile health systems aren’t overwhelmed.

“By all working together, we can help ensure life-saving resources reach those who need them most,” Nkengasong noted.

Considering the widespread impacts of the pandemic, Afreximbank immediately put in place several initiatives to help deal with the economic and health impacts.

“Supporting African countries in times of crisis is part of our mandate, but no one institution will be able to shoulder the relief effort on its own,” Prof. Benedict Okey Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank), remarked.

The funds raised as a result of the campaign will be spent on providing medical and protective equipment for healthcare workers in at-risk countries, as well as a range of activities focused on raising awareness and prevention. To alleviate the economic burden in vulnerable communities, it will work alongside African governments, increase payments to parents and healthcare workers to expand health and nutrition services. Crucially, the campaign will also finance systems for Covid-19 contact tracing surveillance and case reporting.

Dng/APA

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