The Advocacy Network for Africa (AdNA) is a non-partisan network of US-based organizationsand scholars with programmatic focus on Africa /U. S-Africa policy.
We share an urgent concern about the advancing COVID-19 pandemic and its impending impact on Africa’s peoples.
- The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the global community. The number of cases in the world is surpassing 13 million and the death toll rising to close to 550,000 as of July 09, 2020. The number of confirmed cases in Africa is reported in the hundreds of thousands, but possibly millions more remain undetected as a result of the lack of adequate testing kits and laboratories;
- Africa faces unique challenges given relatively limited resources, high-density communities, fragile public health systems, scarcity of medical personnel, acute shortages of crucial essential services like reliable water and power sourcing. Crises such as limited access to communication in rural areas, in massive and crowded informal settlements of displaced peoples, and growing populations confined to refugee camps pose daunting challenges to containing the spread of the virus.
- Despite these challenges, African countries are responding proactively. Governments and individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa have generated many innovative measures to address COVID-19 related challenges. Such initiatives deserve support;
- It is in the interest of the United States to support efforts to prevent the virus from proliferating in countries around the world that are currently ill-prepared. The pandemic reaffirms the African reality of Ubuntu: “I am because we are” and therefore it is only as a human family that we can overcome to COVID19 crisis. No country can alone stop the spread of the coronavirus and that collective action is the only viable solution.
ADNA urges the U.S. Congress and the Trump Administration to:
1. Provide robust funding for an international COVID-19 response including Africa. We join our colleagues in the non-governmental community in calling on Congress to provide no less than $12 billion for the international response in the next legislative package. This funding will boost the COVID-19 capabilities of the African Union, specifically the Africa CDC, the World Health Organization, and other pertinent UN agencies and USAID working through locally-based and accountable organizations whenever possible.
2. Realize Pope Francis’ call for a “Global Jubilee” for African debt forgiveness by supporting bilateral and multilateral debt relief measures for African countries amid the COVID-19 crisis and facilitating access for African countries to World Bank financial tools so that they can prioritize spending on life-saving measures instead of debt repayment.