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EUROPEAN UNION PROVIDES €100 MILLION FOR COVID-19 FIGHT IN 12 AFRICAN COUNTRIES
European Union provides €100 million for Covid-19 fight in 12 African countries
14 December 2021 | 12:46

The European Union (EU), through the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), has availed a €100 million (around R1.79 billion) grant to help 12 African countries train health workers, shore up logistics, and build confidence in Covid-19 vaccine uptake.

Countries that have been selected are Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Uganda, Lesotho, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mali, and Nigeria.

The 18-month programme will "help ensure that as vaccines arrive, countries are supported and vaccines reach the whole population, including the most vulnerable. Support will be provided through, inter alia, training for health workers, shoring up logistics, and building confidence in vaccine take-up", the EU said in a statement issued this past weekend.

According to the Reuters Covid-19 daily tracker, Africa is currently reporting a million new infections about every 96 days and more than nine million cases have been reported since the pandemic began.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its assessment of the negative impact of Covid-19 in Africa said the pandemic has greatly disturbed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets of 2030. As such, the new fund from "Team Europe" at a time when the world is grappling with the omicron variant has been widely celebrated.

Marie-Pierre Poirier, Unicef Regional Director for West and Central Africa saidThe Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on communities and children in Africa, taking lives, affecting livelihoods and the ability of governments to provide essential services to children."

She further said UNICEF welcomes the EU's support to ensure that populations in the 12 countries, including parents and priority groups such as health workers, teachers, and social workers can be vaccinated against Covid-19. Protecting them is key to restoring and improving services to children,"  



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