Mastercard Foundation provides $40m towards fighting Covid-19 in AfricaRoy said the Foundation has been impressed by the swift pan-African response to Covid-19 led by Africa CDC and regional organizations.
The Mastercard Foundation is putting up $40 million to help the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to among other things pay for the purchase of one million test kits.
The money is also going to the training of 100,000 healthcare workers to contain the Covid-19 pandemic specifically by contact tracing. Africa CDC is undertaking these Covid-19 response measures in partnership with the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET).
Over the next four months, an estimated 10 million people will be tested in a campaign dubbed the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT). The Foundation is one of several partners involved in this initiative.
Mastercard Foundation President and CEO, Reeta Roy said of the initiative, “We are impressed by the swift pan-African response to COVID-19 led by Africa CDC and regional organizations. They have created a clear plan and targets to deliver a robust health response and save lives. The Mastercard Foundation stands with the Africa CDC and calls on other funders to support this excellent plan. Fighting this pandemic requires all of us to coordinate our efforts and work together.”
As part of the initiative, PACT also plans next week to launch a continent-wide procurement, storage, and distribution platform for health commodities needed in the Covid-19 response.
Dr. John Nkengasong, director, Africa CDC said, “It’s an opportunity to unlock the supply chain management for the commodities that we need to fight COVID-19.”
According to Foundation officials, under the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, the non-profit is stepping up its work on the continent to address the pandemic alongside partners and communities.
Dr Nkengasong said, “There is only one formula to fight Covid-19 in Africa and that is the PACT initiative. The daily figures show clearly that the pandemic is still on the rise, and to defeat it Africa needs greater cooperation with everybody, including the governments, the community, the media, and the development partners. We need to equip, deploy and train more healthcare workers as quickly as possible, and we expect that there will be more cooperation and solidarity through PACT.”
The Mastercard Foundation is an international non-governmental organization established by Mastercard in 2006. The foundation develops programs primarily in education, employment and agriculture fields.
Among other activities in the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program for Africa is expanding access to financial services for micro, small, and medium enterprises, which will enable businesses to withstand the economic effects of COVID-19. These programs will explore options for digitizing their businesses, and potentially contribute to public health response through the production and distribution of critically-needed health care products and equipment.