Established by the chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat in March, the AU-Covid-19 Response Fund aims at strengthening the continental response to Covid-19, mitigating its socio-economic and humanitarian impact on African populations.
“This Africa Day, May 25, all Africans, people of African descent and friends of Africa are encouraged to give a little to the fund,” the AU said, underlining that a target of one million dollars has been set for the day.
Contributions can be made in any currency and this will be automatically converted into U.S. dollars, which is the original currency of the Fund account. The AU has also created a website where donation can be made, it said.
The number of confirmed Covid-19 positive cases across Africa rose to 107,412 as of Sunday morning, the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Sunday.
African countries are mobilizing resources and taking measures to fight the spread of COVID-19.
Some countries on the continent have imposed night curfew and suspended international flights. Wearing face masks is mandatory at public places in many countries.
AU chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa said on the occasion that despite severe shortcomings like shortage of personal protective equipment, testing kits and ventilators, African government have been swift and proactive in introducing measures to flatten the curve of the virus.
In his message to mark the 57th anniversary of the formation of the Organisation of African Union, the precursor of the AU in 1963, Ramaphosa noted that countries in Global South were more vulnerable to impacts of the coronavirus due to low levels of development, insufficient resources and weak health systems.
“Countries ranking low on human development indices, many of which are in Africa, are less capable of managing the fallout of a global health emergency of this kind on their own.
“Yet at the same time, some of the health challenges African countries have wrestled with for decades have given us a clear understanding of what needs to be done, and how to do it,” said the South African leader.
African countries drew on their experience in dealing with diseases such as HIV and TB in deploying community health workers for screening, testing, contact tracing and case management in fighting the coronavirus.
African nations have also joined the race to produce test kits, with Senegal in an advanced stage of developing a low-cost testing kit, he stated.
“At least 25 African countries have registered clinical trials for possible COVID-19 treatments, like the BCG vaccine, hydroxychloroquine, antiretrovirals and remdesivir, and as part of global solidarity clinical trials,” he added.