A UN finance support platform, tagged: One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund, says it has received additional $1 million to help Nigeria to address challenges posed by the pandemic in the country.
The UN Development Programme (UNDP), which manages the basket fund, made this known in a statement on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 in Abuja.
The statement quoted Mohamed Yahya, the UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, as saying that the additional fund was to aid Nigeria, as it witnessed rapid rise in the number of confirmed cases.
According to Yahya, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated $1 million in support of the Nigerian government in addressing the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic on July 14, 2020.
He said that the UN welcomed the contribution of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as it aimed to support the country’s response in the management of the crisis and the realities of post-crisis, particularly in the protection of vulnerable persons.
He added that “as a recognised COVID-19 Response Financing and Investment Platform, this facility provides us timely opportunity to stand with Nigeria and channel financial contributions toward the COVID-19 multi-sectoral response.
“Working as one UN enables us to minimise the risk of duplication of efforts and ensures efficient mobilisation and rapid deployment of resources.”
The UNDP resident representative said that the unfolding COVID-19 situation in Nigeria called for solidarity and coordinated support to government to the response plan of the country.
“Through the Basket Fund, the UN aims to ensure policy coherence, programmatic alignment, harmonisation, and coordination of support to the Government of Nigeria during the time of crisis,’’ Yahya said.
The UN, in collaboration with the Federal Government, launched the One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund on April 6, 2020.
The Basket Fund serves as the One COVID-19 Financing and Investment Platform, through which different stakeholders can channel their financial support to the multi-sectoral efforts of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Response.
The overall management of the One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund is led and coordinated by the Project Board.
The Project Board has representation from the Presidential Task Force; Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), relevant government departments, fund contributing donors and the UN.
As of June 2020, the Basket Fund, managed by UNDP mobilised $61.3 million, including $54.6 million from the European Union (EU) and $2.2 million from UN agencies.
Also, the fund received $4 million from the private sector (Dangote $3.8 million and AP Maersk $0.2 million ); and $0.4 million from the Government of Switzerland.
By Cecilia Ologunagba