UK Pledges £20m For Africa Against COVID-19

Scientific staff members works in a secure laboratory, researching the coronavirus, at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar on February 3, 2020. - The Pasteur Institute in Dakar, designated by the African Union as one of the two reference centres in Africa for the detection of the new coronavirus that appeared in China, is hosting experts from 15 countries on the continent this weekend to prepare them to deal with the disease. (Photo by Seyllou / AFP) (Photo by SEYLLOU/AFP via Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO, May 22, (THEWILL) – The United Kingdom (UK) has pledged £20 million to support the African Union (AU) in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing the funding, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK’s international development secretary, said it is part of the Africa anti-COVID-19 fund to tackle the disease and save lives.

According to Trevelyan, the fund will be used to recruit health experts and deploy them where they are needed most adding that it would also strengthen the global tracking of the pandemic, combatting potentially harmful misinformation, providing specialist COVID-19 training for health workers and making information about the virus more accessible to the public.

“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 the disease,” Trevelyan said.

“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 development, Catriona Laing, British high commissioner to Nigeria, said the fund indicates collective effort to fight the disease.

“The truly global scale of the current crisis means that international cooperation and solidarity is more important than ever,” Laing said.

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“This £20 million UK funding contribution to the African Union will provide important additional support to Nigeria and other countries across Africa and is testament to the fact that the UK stands shoulder to shoulder with Nigeria in our collective challenge to defeat this terrible virus.”

According to the British high commission, the new AU funding brings the total UK aid contribution to fighting COVID-19 to £764 million ($935.6 million).