Switzerland pledges US$1m to Covid-19  

Caroline Chiimba

©️  SWITZERLAND, through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) Regional Programme for Southern Africa, has pledged another US$1 million to support Southern Africa’s coronavirus (Covid-19) preparedness and response.

This comes as Africa has recorded over 80 000 cases of Covid-19, while grappling with poverty amid current lockdowns to contain the spread of the virus.
The donation brings to US$3,3 million the total amount that Switzerland has committed to the fight against Covid-19 in Zimbabwe and neighbouring countries while continuing to respond to the increasingly dire humanitarian situation in the region.
The partners of SDC will use the funds to capacitate frontline health care personnel, immigration, customs and other support staff in high risk areas to better respond to Covid-19.
“The goal of Switzerland in Southern Africa is to limit human-to-human transmission and minimise the regional impact of Covid-19 through partnership with countries, multilateral and non-governmental partners to mitigate vulnerabilities and gaps in preparedness,” regional director of Cooperation for Southern Africa, Manuel Thurnhofer said.
“The additional Swiss funding builds on our longstanding partnership and investments to contribute to a healthier Southern Africa.
“Our priority with these additional funds is to reach the most vulnerable communities and those most in need, especially young people living with HIV and reduce the risk and impact of Covid-19 in Southern Africa.”
Thurnhofer further expressed gratitude to partners in the region especially frontline humanitarian workers who continue to deliver various services to communities despite the many challenges that they face.
The funds will go towards the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), infection prevention and control, broadcast messaging of accurate and accessible information about Covid-19, psycho-social support for young people, rehabilitation and repair of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities at exit and entry points at border crossings and community markets.
The money will also be used to facilitate the safe release and return of juveniles affected by Covid-19 in Malawi and Zambia.
In the last five years, Switzerland has invested more than US$125 million in development assistance under its Harare-based Regional Programme for Southern Africa focusing on HIV/Aids, food security, youth employment and Arts and Culture interventions.
It also actively contributes to Zimbabwe’s democratic consolidation process through initiatives which promote peaceful coexistence and genuine stability founded on open and inclusive political and economic principles.


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