Shortly after the coronavirus disease was deemed a pandemic, Nigeria and other African countries, received aid from individuals, corporate organisations and other countries of the world. This was largely due to the fact that African countries are deemed developing countries, still struggling for survival and may not be financially buoyant enough to execute the fight against COVID-19 effectively alone.
On the 16th of March, the founder of the Alibaba Group and Jack Ma Foundation, Jack Ma, promised to support Africa in the battle against COVID-19. On the 22nd of the same month, the first tranche of these donations was airlifted from Guangzhou, China, to the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The consignment included 5.4 million face masks, 1.08 million test kits, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 face shields. On the 4th of March, the Nigerian portion of the consignment landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, after which, it was taken to Abuja. According to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the donation to Nigeria included 100,000 face masks, 9,999 overall gowns, 200,000 runs of reagents for testing and 913 face shields.
On the 5th of April, Jack Ma––via his verified Twitter handle––announced the second tranche of the donation. He wrote on Twitter: “Our second donation to 54 countries in Africa is on the way. That includes 500 ventilators, 200K suits & face shields, 2K thermometers,1M swabs & extraction kits and 500K gloves. Thank you @AbiyAhmedAli @flyethiopian @AfricaCDC @WFP for your partnership. Stay safe Africa!”
Similarly, on the 20th of April, the richest Chinese man according to Forbes, Jack Ma, took to Twitter again to announce a third donation to Africa when he wrote: “Our third donation to Africa will immediately be made to @africaunion_ and @AfricaCDC. This includes 5.6m masks, 500K swabs & test kits, 300 ventilators, 200K clothing sets, 200K face shields, 2K thermal guns, 100 body temp. scanners and 500K pairs of gloves. #OneWorldOneFight.” On the 27th of April, the Africa Centre for Disease Control (Africa CDC) received the donation, which was then sent to other African countries.
On the 28th of March, the Jack Ma Foundation also organised a webinar in collaboration with the Africa CDC titled: ‘Global MediXChange for Combatting Covid-19.’ Speakers at the webinar included Jack Ma, Dr Cheng Wang (President of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences), Dr Raji Tajudeen (Head of the Division of Public Health Institutes and Research of Africa CDC).
In April, the world bank announced an N31.2 billion donation to support Nigeria’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The bank also promised to support the Nigerian economy over the next 18 to 24 months.
On the 28th of April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in a press release, announced the approval of $3.4 billion to Nigeria to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, the 8th of June, the High Commission of Germany announced a donation of 26 Million Euros for humanitarian assistance for the North-Eastern part of the country including Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states.
Also in June, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a 288.5 million dollar loan to help Nigeria in the fight against coronavirus. According to the AfDB, the loan was to bolster the government’s plan to improve surveillance and response to COVID-19 emergencies, ease the impact on workers and businesses and strengthen the social protection system.
In July, India also donated essential medicines worth about 50 million dollars to Nigeria and other African countries. This was disclosed by the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Abhay Thakur in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria. The Nigerian Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, received the consignment on behalf of the federal government of Nigeria. The Minister described the donation as gracious and touching as the coronavirus affects all countries and India has her own challenges just like Nigeria, notwithstanding, India in their magnanimity still managed to donate to Nigeria. Ehanire then called for collaboration in the field of Medicine between the two countries.
On the 11th of August, the government of the United States donated 200 ventilators to Nigeria. The Nigerian government received the delivery of the healthcare equipment at the Abuja Premiere Warehouse from the United States’ Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard.
Also, the Coalition Against Covid-19 (CACOVID) was launched in March. CACOVID is a private-sector-led initiative put together by philanthropists in the country to help the federal government in the fight against COVID-19.
Though the government confirmed receipt of most of these donations, details on how they were spent still remain unclear to the citizens.
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