Established by President Cyril Ramaphosa a few months ago, The Solidarity Fund was created to aid the country in its battle against the coronavirus. The United Kingdom (UK) has also contributed more than £2 million (approximately R50 million) towards the Fund.
The funding will be deployed to support two existing Humanitarian Pillar projects, namely the second intervention in Gender-Based Violence support and Farming Input Vouchers, with each project receiving R25m.
The British High Commissioner Nigel Casey has lauded the Fund as a unique vehicle and a collaboration between the public and private sector towards the fight against the global pandemic. The UK decided on this donation, as a form of support towards South Africa’s efforts in countering the spread of COVID-19 and navigating its economic consequences.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s Deputy Minister Alvin Botes and Nomalungelo Gina took part in a signing ceremony marking the UK’s contribution on Monday, September 14, 2020.
“We looked hard at what else we could do…we looked at how our financial support could reach the places that really need it here where robust government structures are in place to ensure transparency and accountability (on) the way funds are spent,” said Casey.
The British High Commission to SA has also highlighted the country’s response to gender-based violence, supporting the economic empowerment of women and small-medium enterprises, as the key areas it would like the funds to be allocated towards.
The trade and industry department said these are areas that the UK has always been keen to support and which are important aspects of their COVID19 response and recovery plans.
Casey said they had identified two projects where UK support could add value to its existing work. “We’re delighted to be able to partner with South Africa in this way and all this is part of the UK’s COVID-19 response, which in total adds up to £740 million,” he added.