The Ethiopia Diaspora Trust Fund (EDTF) Advisory Council has established an “EDTF Emergency COVID-19 Mitigation” effort committing $1 million start-up fund to assist the national COVID-19 mitigation efforts in Ethiopia.
Responding to the health care needs of disadvantaged Ethiopians is one of the core missions of the Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund. A description of EDTF’s response is attached to this press release. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has recently warned, “Africa is two to three weeks away from the worst of the coronavirus storm and needs an emergency economic stimulus of $100 billion to bolster preventative measures and support its fragile healthcare systems.”
55 cases of COVID-19 infection, 2 deaths, and 4 recoveries are reported as of Wednesday, April 8, 2020. While the current low infection and mortality rate is encouraging, we must not be lulled into complacency or underestimate the severe health threats given the exponential growth of the virus in a given population and lag time between infection and manifestation of symptoms.
EDTF’s commitment is targeted to addressing the specific needs for medical supplies (attached to this press release) identified by the Ministry of Health under the coordination of the COVID-19 Ministerial Committee chaired by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to respond directly to the COVID-19 threat.
Prof. Alemayehu G. Mariam, EDTF Advisory Council Chairman said, “Ethiopia and indeed the human race today faces an existential threat as COVID-19 continues to spread like wildfire to all corners of the globe. There is no more critical and urgent health care need facing all Ethiopians today than the prevention, treatment, and mitigation of COVID-19.”
Dr. Bisrat Aklilu, EDTF Advisory Council Treasurer explained, “EDTF Emergency COVID-19 support will be guided primarily by the priority items identified by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and will closely coordinate with the Prime Minister’s National COVID-19 Resource Mobilization Committee, the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Task Force and collaborate with other Ethiopian diaspora organizations working to address the COVID-19 threat in Ethiopia. EDTF will provide periodic reports on funding allocations and expenditures consistent with its commitment to maximum transparency and accountability.”
In response to requests by EDTF Diaspora donors and others, EDTF website now has a separate window for COVID-19 donations to be held in a special account created for COVID-19. Donors are encouraged to use that window to support the fundraising effort.
The EDTF COVID-19 effort in Ethiopia will be coordinated by EDTF Board Chairman Zafu Eyesuswork and Vice-Chairperson Dr. Mehret Mandefro, and the EDTF Secretariat.