Nigeria, UK Launches Joint Initiative System To Support Covid-19 Response

Nigeria, UK Launches Joint Initiative System To Support Covid-19 Response

Nigeria, UK Launches Joint Initiative System To Support Covid-19 Response

REMARKS BY THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION AT THE LAUNCH OF A JOINT NIGERIA- UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM INITIATIVE TO SUPPORT COVID-19 RESPONSE ON MONDAY 6TH APRIL, 2020

I am pleased to be here this morning to launch the One COVID-19 Basket Fund for Nigeria. This is a monumental joint initiative that signals the togetherness that humanity desires at all times.

2. The world is in the midst of an unprecedented catastrophic crisis. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread across 209 Countries and Territories around the world, with a reported 1,249,107 confirmed cases world-wide, 67,998 deaths with about 236,270 people who have recovered from the disease as of yesterday 5th April 2020. The Disease has placed considerable and significant strain on the global health care system.

3. Although the disease started in China and spread rapidly across Europe and the Americas; today, many African countries are beginning to see a rapid rise in the number of cases. Currently 54 African countries are now affected with the disease. Given the relentless exponential growth rate witnessed in other countries, the spread of the virus in the continent and in particular in Nigeria should be expected.

4. As of 5 April 2020, there were 224 confirmed cases with five deaths across 14 states in Nigeria. The Government of Nigeria continues to take stringent steps to contain the spread of the disease and manage confirmed cases. Testing capacity has been expanded and shall continue to expand. Currently two states and the FCT are under lockdown even as we push harder on awareness creation among Nigerians. Our international points of entry also remain closed.

5 On 23 March 2020, the national COVID 19 leadership of Nigeria met with the UN leadership and key bilateral donors to discuss the unfolding emergency. Both parties agreed to adopt the “Four Ones” guiding principles of engagement for national authorities and partners to respond to the pandemic:

(i) One agreed National COVID-19 Multi-Sectoral Pandemic Response Plan;
(ii) One COVID-19 National Coordinating Authority with a broad-based multi-sector mandate;
(iii) One COVID-19 M&E System for tracking and reporting progress; and
(iv) One COVID-19 Financing and Investment Platform.

6. I am happy to state that the COVID-19 Basket Fund which is being launched this morning has been designed to serve as the One COVID-19 Financing and Investment Platform, through which the different stakeholders (including UN, other multilateral and bilateral donors, as well as private sector donors, foundations and philanthropists) can channel their financial contributions to the multisectoral efforts of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Response.

7. The One COVID 19 Basket Fund is robust and is capable of rapid procurement of equipment and consumables as well supporting socio-economic interventions of vulnerable groups, as well as efforts aimed at scaling up surveillance, testing, isolation, contact tracing, personal protection equipment for medical staff, disinfectants for medical facilities, risk communication, community engagement and clinical management of the critically ill. The Basket Fund will also fund socio-economic measures, such as cash transfers or food distribution to vulnerable groups.

8. The Government of Nigeria appreciates the role the UN is playing to rally partners to support our nation’s efforts to fight the pandemic, and the operationalization of the One COVID19 Basket fund will be of great help in complementing Government’s efforts to coordinate mobilization and rapid deployment of assistance where it is needed the most.

9. We wish to register our appreciation to the Secretary General of the United Nations for commending our response to the pandemic and I assure you that this will spur Nigeria to work harder. We have the will, the people, the tools and now we have the financing structure.

10. It is now my singular privilege to launch this ONE COVID-19 BASKET FUND.

11. I thank you all for listening.

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