No less than $1.3bn will be deployed over the next three years by the Mastercard Foundation, in partnership with the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, to save the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Africa.
The funds will also help to hasten the continent’s economic recovery, the foundation disclosed in a statement sighted by Financial Street on Tuesday.
It said, “The Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative will acquire vaccines for at least 50 million people, support the delivery of vaccinations to millions more across the continent, lay the groundwork for vaccine manufacturing in Africa through a focus on human capital development, and strengthen the Africa CDC.”
According to the President/Chief Executive of the Mastercard Foundation, Reeta Roy, the initiative is about valuing all lives and accelerating the economic recovery of the continent.
“In the process, this initiative will catalyse work opportunities in the health sector and beyond as part of our Young Africa Works strategy,” Roy added.
The statement also noted that the Africa CDC called on governments, global funders, private sector and others to help meet this goal.
“Ensuring inclusivity in vaccine access, and building Africa’s capacity to manufacture its own vaccines, is not just good for the continent, it’s the only sustainable path out of the pandemic and into a health-secure future,” the Director of Africa CDC, Dr John Nkengasong, said.
In 2020, Africa faced its first economic recession in 25 years due to the pandemic, and while the African Development Bank has warned that COVID-19 could reverse hard-won gains in poverty reduction over the past two decades and drive 39 million people into extreme poverty in 2021, widespread vaccination is recognised as being critical to the economic recovery of African countries, the statement added.
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