The African Development Fund Bank (AFDB) board of directors have settled on granting Zimbabwe and six other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries US$8.9 million to combat the pandemic.
African countries including Zimbabwe have been hit seriously by the rapid spreading coronavirus pandemic. The AFDB also approved $683,000 grant money to Sao Tome ; Principe as support to the two-island nation’s response to the pandemic and its impacts.
The money was given to Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The funds donated will facilitate the procurement of laboratory and medical supplies, including testing kits, personal protective gear and non-invasive ventilators in the mentioned countries.
“The financing will reinforce the Sadc’s capacity to coordinate pandemic response measures, including surveillance and sensitization in the six beneficiary countries. The SADC countries and São Tomé ; Príncipe have inadequate resources and capacity to effectively manage the Covid-19 pandemic, which has put a strain on already fragile health systems in the countries,” said the bank.
The pandemic has been slow in Africa but continues to steadily spread through the continent leaving behind trails of disruptions and hardships caused by economic lockdowns due to the virus.
“As a result, these countries are now struggling to respond effectively to the fast-evolving situation posed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the bank noted.