The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) battle in Tanzania stands to get French government’s funding, as the East African nation awaits to receive part of the $1.3 billion (1.2 euros) provided by the G20 member for Africans to wipe off the pandemic.
Tanzania which is currently battling with more than 250 confirmed cases of the virus, will receive an amount that has not yet been established, according to information from The Citizen.
The French government—which is also one of Tanzania’s development partner, has already initiated discussions with the health ministry to fish out key areas to allocate the support, France ambassador to Tanzania Frederic Clavarier told The Citizen.
In that context, earlier this month French President Emmanuel Macron announced that his government would provide 1.2 ($1.3 billion )Euros for Africa to fight the virus.
“Up to this moment, we do not know how much Tanzania is going to get but after discussions with the responsible ministry, we will see the gaps and channel our support,” he said.
Further, Macron also went an extra mile during his exclusive interview with a French news company RFI, urging for a moratorium on debt to help Africa deal with COVID-19, saying “For as long as the crisis lasts, we must ensure African economies have breathing room, that they are not held back by repayments on the debt,” Macron told RFI’s Christophe Boisbouvier at the French presidential palace in Paris.
“COVID-19 health initiative implemented by the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement: AFD) aims to strengthen the healthcare systems in Africa as well as African detection and scientific research capacities. But this action will not only provide an immediate response to the short-term health challenges but also tackle the major economic and social consequences and prepare for after the crisis,” he said.
According to The Citizen, the ambassador urged French companies operating in Tanzania to support the government of Tanzania via offering sanitary products and medical equipment needed to combat the pandemic dissemination.
However, Tanzania is also doing it’s best, to self-finance and cater health resources to fight the virus, including manufacturing, donation of face mask, automated disinfectant machines and other health-related resources needed.
Also, the Tanzanian Ministry of trade stated that the nation’s factories are in a good position to manufacture 3.5 million face masks per month.
The French Embassy already supports within its ability national efforts in the fight against COVID-19 and its consequences. Its ongoing agro-ecology project, implemented by SwissAid and Tanzanian NGOs SAT and TOAM, that aims to improve sustainable livelihoods for 6000 smallholder farmers, has been adapted to prevent the epidemic among the rural population.
The ambassador revealed various things related to fighting the pandemic in Tanzania, he said that almost $ 542,000 (500,000 euros) will be directed at epidemic prevention, food security and economic assistance to high risk and vulnerable rural population.
The government, Non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) and AFD are working on the possibility of rerouting some available grant funds (around 500,000 euros) towards prevention, training of health workers and supply of medical materials.
And yet, as part of the COVID-19 health in the common initiative, AFD will also propose to support Tanzania through soft loans to address short-and-medium-term health challenges.
At the moment Tanzania requires more resources to deal with the pandemic, which health authorities warned could be local transmissions, which have now penetrated rural communities in over 16 regions.