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U.S. commits over $55bn to health, climate adaptation in Africa

White House national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, on Tuesday, December 13, 2022, said the U.S. would commit more than $55 billion to support health and climate adaption in Africa.

Joe Biden
US president Joe Biden addresses the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Photo credit: AP

Sullivan announced this on the sidelines of the U.S.-Africa summit in Washington D.C.

According to him, the U.S. is committed to investing in the African continent compares favourably to other countries.

The money will go to “a wide range of sectors to tackle the core challenges of our time,” and is being distributed in close partnership with Congress, Sullivan said.

According to him, the bulk of the money will be on spent health and climate adaption, noting that Biden-Harris administration will be providing nearly $20 billion in health programmes in the Africa region.

“That includes $11.5 billion dollars to address HIV/AIDS; more than $2 billion dollars to combat malaria; more than $2 billion dollars in support of family planning and reproductive health as well as maternal and child health; and more than $2 billion dollars to address the health, humanitarian, and economic impacts of COVID-19.

“The administration also plans to ask Congress for $4 billion for healthcare workers in Africa, investing $1.33 billion annually from 2022 to 2024.”

Since January 2021, the administration has invested and plans to provide at least $1.1 billion to support African-led efforts to support conservation, climate adaptation, and energy transitions.

These funds include U.S. International Development Finance Corporation investments into Malawi’s Golomoti JCM Solar Corporation, and a Climate Action Infrastructure Facility.

Sullivan also said President Joe Biden would host a dinner on Wednesday night for about 50 African leaders and announced U.S. support for the African Union to join the Group of 20 (G20) major economies.

He will also push for a permanent member from the African continent on the United Nations Security Council.

Biden has made trips to visit U.S. allies in Asia, Europe and the Middle East since taking office but has yet to visit Africa since becoming president, and the event will be his most comprehensive look at the complexities of the continent.

Part of Biden’s diplomatic efforts so far have focused on promoting Western democracies as a counterweight to China, but U.S. officials have insisted the Africa summit was not all about discussing Beijing’s influence in Africa.

Biden will also appoint a special representative for implementing ideas discussed at the summit, and the U.S. State Department plans to appoint Ambassador Johnnie Carson for this role, Sullivan said.

Over 300 U.S. and African companies will meet with heads of different delegations to discuss investments in critical sectors, he said.

Sullivan also added the United States will not be “imposing conditionality” at the Africa summit to support the Ukraine war.

Separately, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said her agency is preparing to sign a memorandum of understanding with African Continental Free Trade Area countries to explore work on the next phases of the U.S.-African trade relationship.

By Cecilia Ologunagba

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