Ethiopia to mobilize $1.5 billion for tackling COVID-19 impact

The national ministerial committee of Ethiopia established to address coronavirus (COVID-19) related challenges said it is working to mobilize 50 billion birr (about $1.5 billion) to help some 15 million people whose lives will to be impacted badly by the global pandemic.

The chair of the Ministerial committee, Muferiat Kamil said that so far the committee has mobilized some 1.5 billion birr (about $ 45.2 million) in cash as donations from companies and Ethiopians including those living abroad. The public has also been donating to the food banks established in different parts of the country to feed those people whose live is dependent on the daily income.

The partial lock down measures taken by the Government of Ethiopia is beloved to badly affect lives of millions of people in the informal sector like many African countries. Responding to the questions journalists sent to the national committee, Muferiat, who is also Minister of Peace of Ethiopia, urged the public to contribute for the fund that aims to help millions of people whose lives will be affected by COVID-19.

Expressing her gratitude to those who contributed to the fund, she expressed her hope that when all Ethiopians unite it is possible to tackle the challenges the country will be facing from the spread of COVID-19. In addition to the 15 million people estimated as not able to feed themselves if COVID-19 leads the country to total lock down, currently some 15 million people are already getting food aid in Ethiopia.

Including 4 more confirmed cases this morning, there are a total of 96 COVID-19 patients are reported in Ethiopia of which 3 have died. A leaked estimate of the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia shows that COVID-19 is likely to infect up to 28 million people in Ethiopia killing over 20,000 people in the first three months.

A report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) launched in Addis Ababa this morning, estimated that COVID-19 is likely to add some 27 million Africans into extreme poverty. Entitled, CPOVID-19 – Protecting African lives and economies, the report stated that some 300,000 Africans are likely to die due to COVID-19.So far about 1,000 people in Africa have lost their lives by the coronavirus pandemic.