The Open Society Initiative has announced a Covid19 Emergency Response Fund. Great to hear, but first key area on their list is health system strengthening. Health systems have been in need of funding for decades.
Second on the list is mitigating the economic impact of Covid19, but that is far more a matter of the devastating effects of lockdowns, people unable to work, purchase food, tend to food production, sell produce, etc.
A few headlines highlight some of the emergencies faced by African countries and they seem to be either: 1) caused by the response to Covid19, not the virus itself, or 2) emergencies that go back many decades, and increase the harm that kneejerk lockdowns, curfews and the like can cause.
Unemployment, nothing new, but exacerbated by global lockdowns: Nigeria Records 21.8 Million Jobless People After Covid-19 Effects
Female Genital Mutilation, nothing to do with the pandemic, but NGOs need to follow the money: No Christmas for West Pokot Girls
Economic inclusiveness, again, every cause needs to mention the current focus of the media: Covid-19 – Where to From Here for Efforts to Support Youth Economic Inclusion?
The number of confirmed deaths from Covid19 in Africa is about a third of the number of people who die of rabies every year: Lessons From a Community-Driven Rabies Vaccination Campaign in Kenya
Diabetes, a recognized risk factor for many conditions long before Covid19: Covid-19 – Understanding the Increased Risk in People With Diabetes
Foot and Mouth, like all other health conditions, put on the back burner. If there’s an outbreak of this disease now, countries that have closed their economic and administrative functions down will be able to do little to protect themselves: Mozambique: Foot-and-Mouth Outbreak in Maputo Province
Tourism, conservation, environmental and other projects, all threatened by lockdowns: In Kenya, Maasai Entrepreneur Moves Conservancy Beyond Tourism Hit By Pandemic
Hardly surprising that food prices have rocketed. They are unlikely to drop anytime soon. Unlike most articles on the pandemic/response, this one identifies other pressures driving up food prices, all of which were there before Covid19, but are made a lot worse by the response: Food Prices in Nigeria Have Shot Through the Roof
If countries can’t get food locally, or import it from other countries because they can’t get around restrictions on movement and trade, they may end up depending on illicit trading, black markets and other threats to economic and political stability. The above list is from today’s AllAfrica.com newsletter, not at all exhaustive, unfortunately.
Many are now questioning the wisdom of rigid Covid19 responses urged on them by international institutions, NGOs, donors and foreign leaders. Tanzania is one of the only one to impose a modest lockdown with a viable exit plan. Other countries could soon follow their example. None can afford the millions shelled out by rich countries.