WASHINGTON, July 21, 2022— The World Bank has approved a $100 million support program for the Africa Centers for Disease Control (Africa CDC) that will help improve the institution’s technical capacity and strengthen its institutional framework to scale up support for African countries in disease preparedness, detection and response. epidemics and public health emergencies.
Today, the African continent is facing several infectious disease outbreaks in addition to COVID-19 and there are growing risks for the future. Recent assessments have revealed widespread gaps in African countries’ preparedness capacities that disproportionately impact the poorest and most vulnerable. Regional approaches to health policies and interventions in complementarity with national and global efforts underscore the value of a strong Africa CDC focused on safeguarding the health of the continent.
In line with the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, which considers health as a fundamental program to achieve longer-term development goals, the program of support to African Centers for disease control to combat current and future threats to public health be essential in supporting the Africa CDC as it transitions into an autonomous African Union health agency and strengthens its role as a health institution leading regional and global public. Earlier this year, AU Member States granted Africa CDC the status of an autonomous health agency of the African Union.
“Africa is changing dynamics in its journey towards realizing a new public health order. This project comes at a critical time as we focus on strengthening our support to AU Member States on the health security agenda and building our autonomous AU institution,” said Dr Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Acting Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control. “We consider this project, but especially our partnership with the World Bank, as extremely important, especially at a time when the institution is in transition. We look forward to working with the World Bank and our partners to maximize the impact of this crucial investment to ensure the future health of the continent.
The project will help cultivate critical regional capacities to ensure a resilient and prepared continent. It will do this by helping to build and sustain a strong public health workforce in countries’ health systems. This includes investments to increase the number of epidemiologists and outbreak responders at sub-regional and member state levels. This also includes strengthening leadership on the continental research and development and manufacturing agenda for vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics. Importantly, the project will help Africa CDC expand and strengthen its institutional footprint to provide tailored support to Member States. This includes supporting its regional collaborating centers to contextualize, implement and network flagship programs such as laboratories and surveillance in the sub-regions in close collaboration with countries, regional economic communities and partners.
“Our investment in Africa CDC underscores the World Bank’s long-term commitment to supporting Africa-led regional institutions and Africa’s public health preparedness agenda,” said Boutheina Guermazi, World Bank Director for Regional Integration for Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa. “Diseases do not respect borders and must be fought collectively, which requires trusted regional leadership and strong health systems across the continent.
This International Development Association* (IDA)-funded project builds on existing World Bank support (the first Africa CDC investment was approved in 2019) and further strengthens the relationship between African institutions on the preparation program. The partnership is an opportunity for the World Bank to work with Africa CDC on the development of the preparedness agenda that can help spur future financing, innovative thinking and timely action to reduce the risk of priority diseases affecting the most vulnerable populations. vulnerable in Africa.
*The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and loans at low or no interest rates for projects and programs that stimulate economic growth, reduce poverty and improve the lives of the poor. IDA is one of the largest sources of aid to the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of them in Africa. IDA resources bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments averaged around $29 billion over the past three years (FY19-FY21), of which around 70% went to Africa. Learn more online: IDA.worldbank.org. #IDAworks
PRESS RELEASE No.: 2023/005/AFE
Daniella van Leggelo-Padilla