The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has extended a financing facility to the Government of Cameroon amounting US$ 27.44 million to provide immediate response to COVID-19 by procuring vital medical and non-medical equipment— including scanners, respiratory equipment, ambulances, mobile radios, hospital beds and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The medical and non-medical supplies will lift-up efforts of the frontline health workers, improve testing capacity and early detection and support the management of COVID-19 cases, thus enabling a strengthened health system in Cameroon. IsDB and the Government have agreed to entrust the implementation of the project activities to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
UNDP and UNOPS signed on 23 July 2020 their agreement with the Government of Cameroon worth respectively US$13.8 million and US$9.1 million to strengthen the health system and support the COVID-19 recovery in the country. A similar agreement is being finalized between the Government of Cameroon and UNICEF for a total amount of US$ 4.2 million.
“Beyond the response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) which has greatly stressed our health professionals, this partnership is an opportunity to further strengthen Cameroon's health system in the face of future resurgence of epidemics and pandemics in Cameroon”, Dr. MANAOUDA Malachie, Minister of Public Health said.
The agreements reached with these United Nations specialized agencies aim to fast track the process of acquiring emergency medical supplies, ambulances, laboratory equipment and other essential items for the government of Cameroon— therefore strengthening the logistics chain of the Ministry of Health to support health centers— and to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the country. In the same vein, a country platform for reporting, information monitoring and experience-sharing on COVID 19 is under operationalization. “I am confident that these agreements will contribute to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Cameroon,”said Mayoro Niang, Manager of the IsDB-Abuja Regional Hub.
“This support is part of a «no regret» approach that will strengthen Cameroon’s health systems in a sustainable and comprehensive manner. I am grateful that UNDP Cameroon, in partnership with the Government and the Islamic Development Bank were able to mobilize additional resources to scale up Cameroon’s National COVID-19 Response Plan to fight the pandemic”, said the Resident Representative of UNDP Cameroon, Jean Luc Stalon.
“UNOPS is committed to contributing to the strengthening of the health system in Cameroon through transparent and efficient procurement as well as project management, which is part and parcel of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.”, said Ms Tatiana Wah, Director and Representative of the UNOPS hub in Central Africa.
“I am delighted with this new step in a long-standing tripartite partnership between the Government, the IsDB and UNICEF which will help scaling up the diagnostic capacities for COVID19 across the country.”, said Jacques Boyer, Representative of UNICEF in Cameroon.