The board of directors of the African Development Fund (ADF) has approved 165.1 million dollars in grant funding to support Ethiopia’s response to the health and economic impacts of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Approved on July 3, the funds will also be used for helping to ease fiscal pressure on the economy and help bolster Ethiopia’s COVID-19 National Emergency Response Plan. The Plan aims to expand social protection coverage for the most vulnerable, enhance the government’s capacity to contain the virus outbreak, and address macro-fiscal imbalances, as well as cushioning the effects of the crisis on the private sector.
The programme will increase the number of COVID-19 testing laboratories, train 45,000 health care workers in COVID-19 response, and aid in rolling out a risk-communication and community engagement strategy to raise awareness on transmission and prevention. The country’s health system remains weak, with only three hospital beds per 10,000 people. The package will assist in refurbishing 300 isolation centres, 34 treatment centres and 100 quarantine centres.