World Bank gives Africa CDC $100 million to boost public health preparedness

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  • The Africa Centre for Disease Control (Africa CDC) will receive $100 million from the Wold to support a programme that would help enhance its technical capacity
  • The funding will also strengthen Africa CDC’s institutional framework to intensify support to African countries in preparing for, detecting, and responding to disease outbreaks 
  • The funds come when the continent is addressing several infectious disease outbreaks in addition to COVID-19, and there are growing risks looking ahead

The Africa Centre for Disease Control (Africa CDC) will receive $100 million from the Wold to support a programme that would help enhance its technical capacity.

According to the partners, the deal will also strengthen Africa CDC’s institutional framework to intensify support to African countries in preparing for, detecting, and responding to disease outbreaks and public health emergencies.

The funds come when the continent is addressing several infectious disease outbreaks in addition to COVID-19, and there are growing risks looking ahead.

World Bank noted that recent assessments have revealed widespread gaps in the preparedness capacities of African countries that disproportionately affect the poorest and are more vulnerable.

Regional approaches to health policies and interventions in complementarity with country and global efforts underscore the value of a strong Africa CDC geared towards safeguarding the health of the continent.

According to Dr Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Acting Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control said that Africa is changing the dynamic in its journey to realising a New Public Health Order.

“This project comes at a critical time as we focus on enhancing our support to the AU Member States on the health security agenda and standing up our autonomous institution of the AU,” he said.

“We view this project, our partnership with the World Bank, as extremely important, especially as the institution transitions. We look forward to collaborating with the World Bank and our partners to maximise the impact of this crucial investment in guaranteeing the future health of the continent.”

The project will help to cultivate regional capabilities critical to ensuring a resilient and prepared continent. It will do this by helping to build and maintain a robust public health workforce across countries’ health systems.

This includes investments to increase the number of epidemiologists and outbreak responders at the subregional and member state level.

It also includes strengthening leadership on the continental research and development and manufacturing agenda for vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

CDC Group to invest over US$4 billion to combat climate emergency in Africa, Asia

Importantly, the project will help Africa CDC expand and strengthen its institutional footprint to provide tailored support to member states. This includes support to its Regional Collaborating Centres to contextualise, implement and network flagship programmings such as laboratories and surveillance across subregions in close collaboration with countries, Regional Economic Communities and partners.

“Our investment in the Africa CDC underscores the World Bank’s long-term commitment to supporting African-led regional institutions and Africa’s public health preparedness agenda,” said Boutheina Guermazi, World Bank Director for Regional Integration for Sub-Saharan the Middle East and Northern Africa.

“Diseases do not respect borders and must be tackled collectively, requiring trusted leadership at the regional level and strong health systems across the continent.”

Redefining the health system in Africa after the pandemic

In a separate story, the British development finance institution CDC Group said it would invest over £3 billion (US$4 billion) to support emerging economies in Africa and Asia to combat the climate emergency, the Group announced during the ongoing COP26.

The commitment will make CDC one of Africa’s world’s largest climate finance investors and select South Asian markets.

According to the Group, the investment contributes to the ‘Clean Green Initiative’ announced this week by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to help to developing countries take advantage of green technology and sustain their economies.

The £3 billion of climate finance from CDC will be invested over the next five years across several sectors, such as renewable power, infrastructure, agriculture, and forestry.

It will be deployed to support emerging economies to meet their Paris Agreement goals and to adapt and become more resilient to the affects of the climate emergency that are already being felt today.

Wanjiku Njuguna is a Kenyan-based business reporter with experience of more than eight years.

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