AA 07 APR 2020
An African trade grouping has donated $100,000 to South Sudan to combat coronavirus. The country just out of decades-long civil war has been left to combat the pandemic with a nascent health infrastructure.
The Djibouti-based Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) — an eight-country trade bloc in Africa — decided to grant aid to South Sudan and pledged to release resources to the country.
South Sudan has just four ventilators to cater to a population of 11 million. Nearly 1.5 million people in the country are confined in internally displaced settlements.
“We want to thank IGAD on behalf of the government of South Sudan for helping us to fight the disease. It is a job well done,” said First Vice President Riek Machar.
He said the money will be used for raising awareness to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We need to do a campaign, we need all the sectors of our community to be involved in the campaign,” he said.
Tesfaye Negassa, head of IGAD office in South Sudan, pledged more efforts to combat the virus in the country.
“This will not be the last, it will continue, but we believe that the virus will go out soon,” he said.
South Sudanese authorities over the weekend confirmed one case of COVID-19 so far. The country has set up a high-level task force to combat the coronavirus. There are four more suspected cases of the virus, which are under investigation.
The IGAD includes Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda.