African Finance Ministers Call for Coordinated COVID-19 Response

85

ENA,March 23/2020 African Finance Ministers called for coordinated COVID-19 response to mitigate the adverse social and economic impacts of the pandemic.

During their recent meeting, the Ministers noted that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa was already experiencing a huge financing gap in funding measures and programs.

The Ministers emphasized that without coordinated efforts, the COVID-19 pandemic will have major and adverse implications on African economies and the society at large.

According to a statement from United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), original economic forecasts in most economies are on average, being downgraded by 2-3 percentage points for 2020 due to the pandemic.

The Ministers agreed on issues including the need for a coordinated response in the logistics and delivery of testing equipment.

The ministers emphasized the need to work with the World Health Organization (WHO) and existing continental institutions, including the African Union and Africa CDC as well as with funding partners.

Particular attention should be placed on fragile states and vulnerable populations, especially women and children and those living in informal urban settlements, it was indicated.

As most of the pharmaceuticals and medical supplies consumed in Africa are imported, the Ministers also called on the international community to support the upgrade of the health infrastructure and to provide direct support to the existing facilities.

Africa needs an immediate emergency economic stimulus to the tune of 100 billion USD.