ABUJA/Nigeria: The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) has joined hands with the United Nations in Nigeria with a total sum of N1.5 Billion (equivalent to USD $3.8 million) contribution to the Nigeria UN COVID-19 Basket Fund.
ADF collaboration with the UN will bolster the Nigerian Government’s efforts of strengthening the functional capacity of the healthcare systems and support to those affected by the coronavirus. The contribution from ADF, will go towards the procurement of the much-needed testing and medical supplies and equipment, to aid the healthcare response towards the COVID19 pandemic.
“The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Nigeria is enormous and affects us all, and no institution can battle it alone. It is therefore critical that we act in solidarity as a private sector actor and as a foundation, to beat this common enemy. Our goal is to contribute to the Government’s ongoing efforts of tackling the spread of the coronavirus and the arising challenges.” said, Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive of Dangote group and Chairman of the Aliko Dangote Foundation.
The UN in Nigeria is working closely with the Government to accelerate response to the pandemic; tackle the spread of the virus and ensure optimum care for those affected. The Nigeria UN COVID-19 Basket fund is designed to serve within the One COVID-19 Financing and Investment Platform through which stakeholders, including the private sector, can channel their financial assistance to the multi-sectoral efforts of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
The UN Strategy uses the Basket Fund (pooled fund) arrangement to support the rapid implementation of Nigeria’s National COVID-19 Multi-sectoral Pandemic Response Plan in the ten functional areas, through a bi-lateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or Contribution Agreement between individual donors with the Basket Fund. A dedicated Fund and Project Management structure for the Nigeria UN COVID-19 Basket Fund managed by UNDP acts as the Secretariat to the Project Board and oversees disbursement of funds, procurement of services and goods and accountability.
Receiving the contribution on behalf of the UN in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria noted that, Nigeria’s win against the coronavirus requires a whole-of-society approach that brings all stakeholders on board to support the national response. He further commended the Nigerian private sector for its active role in supporting the Government, to mobilise the critical resources to tackle COVID-19. “We need all hands on-deck to help the Government to keep the healthcare systems working and be able to address the development challenges exacerbated by the pandemic.” He said.
Besides partnering with the UN in Nigeria in support of the Government’s COVID-19 response, ADF is also a founding member of CACOVID, the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition against COVID19.