Libya secures US$480,000 from AfDB to support COVID-19 national response plan

Libya secures US$480,000 from AfDB

LIBYA – The government of Libya has secured US$480,000 in grant funds from the African Development Fund to support its COVID-19 national response plan.

A statement by AfDB said that the Bank approved the grant to Libya under the Special Relief Fund (SRF) for the procurement of much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) intended for treatment of cases of infection of the novel Coronavirus.

African Development Bank’s funding according to the statement, is intended to focus on infection prevention and control and to shield communities, particularly those most vulnerable including the health workers.

The $480,000 grant, is considered the first grant to the North African nation under the SRF since 2014 and was approved following a request from the Libyan government.

The COVID-19 pandemic occurs at a time when the Libyan economy is dramatically affected by a sharp drop in oil production in addition to the global drop in oil prices.

The country is also facing social and political disruptions, which threaten the entire population.

African Development Bank’s support will also focus on the supply of PPE intended for use in ICUs and during treatment of cases of infection.

This will ease the concerns of the medical staff, while enabling authorities to strengthen their readiness plan for an expected surge in cases.

The PPE equipment to be procured will be distributed to hospitals across the country designated for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The AfDB supported intervention will complement the ongoing humanitarian activities of UN agencies and international organizations to mitigate the negative effects of the virus pandemic on the population living in Libya.

 Accordingly, the Bank support will be implemented by the World Health Organization (WHO) operating in Libya in partnership with the country’s ministries of health and finance.

North Africa is leading in the number of COVID infections in Africa (around 45,000 confirmed cases) and deaths (around 1,500) since the virus arrived on the continent in March.

While the reported number of infections in Libya is still manageable – 156 confirmed cases and five deaths as of June 1, 2020 –  the health service in the country suffers from severe shortages of staff, medicines, supplies and equipment.

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