As part of efforts to slow down the spread of coronavirus and save lives of Africans, the United Kingdom has said that it would be investing up to 20 million Pounds in the African Union’s new ‘Africa anti-COVID-19 fund’.
In a statement on Thursday, the British High Commission in Nigeria said that the funding was announced by UK International Development Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
The statement revealed that this investment makes the UK the largest national donor to the fund following an announcement in April by the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) and South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa.
It said that the funds would support African leaders and technical experts to slow the spread of coronavirus and save lives in Africa and worldwide.
It said that the fund would tackle the pandemic by recruiting African health experts and deploying them where they are needed most thereby strengthening global tracking of the pandemic.
It noted that it would also combat potentially harmful misinformation, providing specialist with coronavirus training for health workers and making information about the virus more accessible to the public.
Trevelyan was quoted as saying in the statement:
As the UK faces its biggest peacetime challenge in tackling coronavirus, it’s never been more important to work with our partners in Africa to fight disease.
No one is safe until we are all safe and this new funding and support for African leadership will help protect us all in the UK, Africa and around the world from further spread of the virus.
Speaking on the contribution, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, said:
“The truly global scale of the current crisis means that international cooperation and solidarity is more important than ever.
She said that the 20 million Pounds UK funding contribution to the African Union would provide important additional support to Nigeria and other countries across Africa.
The British High Commissioner said that it was a testament to the fact that the UK stands shoulder to shoulder with Nigeria in their collective challenge to defeat the terrible virus.