By Ifeanyi Nwoko
The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon said the UN COVID-19 Basket Fund financed 40 per cent of medical supplies to the country.
Kallon disclosed this on the sideline of the launch of a 2.3 million dollar oxygen plant and vaccine storage in Borno state, which he said was part of the Nigerian COVID-19 multi-sectorial response plan.
He said that the fund had also contributed in no small measure to building the capacity of states, health care workers, and health facilities across the nation to better respond to the pandemic.
He hinted that the fund had raised more than 70 million dollars from which UN agencies were implementing their interventions.
“Some initiatives by the UN include the establishment of the COVID-19 basket fund together with the government which has so far raised $73.3 million.
“The basket fund is serving as COVID-19 financing and investment platform for diverse stakeholders to channel their financial support to ensure an efficient, effective, and impactful response to the pandemic.
“The fund has been operational with UN agencies applying for funds in support of national response with interventions covering community engagement, strengthening state-level operational capacity and surveillance.
“It also covers infection prevention and control, building the capacity of healthcare workers in case management and strengthening hospitals’ capacity to respond and engage with Civil Society Organisations to reverse the negative effect of COVID-19.
“I am really happy to report today that 40 per cent of the COVID-19 medical supplies in Nigeria were sourced from the Basket Fund.
“This one UN response has also been described by stakeholders as one of the global best practices of multilateralism at the country level,” he said.