Arusha — The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $9.52 million to enhance coordinated Covid-19 response.
The response programme will focus on the East and Horn of Africa region and the Comoros, the continental financial institution has said.
The grant, approved on Friday last week, is part of $10 billion Covid-19 Rapid Response Facility approved by the bank's board of directors in April this year. It complements the bank's direct support to regional member countries across Africa, a statement issued yesterday said.
The beneficiaries are Tanzania, Burundi, Comoros, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Sudan.
Funding will also go toward the procurement of essential medical supplies, including testing kits.
The money will as well be spent on training of the health workers involved on anti-Covid-19 fight.
The funds will be used to bolster health systems and disease surveillance and to enhance infection control, the bank said.
The East African Community (EAC) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) will be assisted to contain cross border transmissions.
"The overall objective is to reduce the incidence and mortality in eastern Africa region due to Covid-19 pandemic," said Martha Phiri, AfDB's director of Human and Social Development.
The EAC will receive $8.79 million in trenches of $8.16 million and $629,582 while $729,581 will go to Igad.
The World Health Organization (WHO) will be the implementing agency while the regional economic communities (RECs) will be responsible for execution.
As of 28 June, total confirmed cases of coronavirus in the eleven mainland countries of the region stood at 42,000.
In the Comoros, 265 cases were reported, according to Kwasi Kpodo, a senior official with AfDB's communication and external relations department.