The proposed programme will support the Eastern and Horn of African Member States and the Union of Comoros, response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, East and Horn of Africa region reported around 8600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 259 deaths. The distribution is changing rapidly and varies by country; Burundi (42) and Comoros (34), Djibouti (1618), Eritrea (39), Ethiopia (365), Kenya (963), Rwanda (308), Uganda (260), Tanzania (509), Seychelles (11), Somalia (1502), South Sudan (282) and Sudan (2728).
The countries also developed COVID-19 multisectoral emergency and medium-term response plans of an estimated budget of US$100 billion. Member states’ capacity to respond to COVID-19 is further constrained by locust invasion from late 2019 that affected nine countries and continue to damage crops on a large scale. The Indian Ocean Dipole that resulted in flooding across several East African countries in 2019 has also constrained countries capacity. The operation will strengthen pandemic rapid response by enhancing laboratory testing capacity, strengthening surveillance and early detection of future pandemics. The total cost of the programme is UA 7,000,000. Based on the current epidemiological profile of the COVID-19 outbreak and the technical knowledge base available, the operation will support the following initiatives: (i) Containing the Spread of COVID19. Specifically, the component will support provision of equipment and supplies and training of health workers. (ii) Strengthening Regional Coordination. The component will support activities to strengthen the coordination by the RECs response to reinforce regional surveillance systems to control cross-border transmissions while safeguarding cross-border trade flows and crews. (iii) Programme Management. The component will support activities critical for ensuring effective and efficient management of the Programme activities.
OWITI Elizabeth Anyango, AfDB
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