U.S. announces N2.6bn aid to assist Nigeria combat coronavirus
London, March 28, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The United States Government has announced a 7 million dollars (about N2.6 billion) emergency health and humanitarian aid to Nigeria to help the country in the fight against dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This is part of a 274 million dollars (N103 billion) assistance package to no fewer than 63 countries affected by the disease, according to a statement by the Department of States on Friday.
Nigeria’s share, the statement said, will go into funding of “risk communication, water and sanitation activities, infection prevention, and coordination’’.
“This assistance joins more than 5.2 billion dollars (N1.9 trillion) in U.S. health assistance and more than 8.1 billion dollars (N3trillion) in total assistance for Nigeria over the past 20 years,’’ it said.
The U.S. announcement came a day after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the release of a total of N15 billion to fight the spread of coronavirus in the country.
This includes a N10 billion grant to Lagos State, which has the highest number of 44 cases in the country, and N5 billion to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as special intervention fund.
Wealthy Nigerians and organisations, including banks, have also announced donations running into billions of Naira in support of the fight against the virus.
Among them is the United Bank for Africa (UBA), which announced a donation of N5 billion.
Some oil industry players, led by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), on Friday announced a combined donation of $30 million (N11 billion.
Nigerian businessmen such as Femi Otedola, Abdulsamad Rabiu, Herbert Wigwe, Segun Agbaje and Aliko Dangote, have also reportedly pledged N1 billion each to the efforts.
According to the Department of State, the $274 million aid package includes $64 million (N24 billion) to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR.
This would be used to address challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in refugee and Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP) camps around the world
Nigeria has now recorded 70 confirmed cases of Coronavirus, as five new cases were recorded on Friday.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, the five new cases were recorded in Abuja and Oyo State.
As at Thursday, cases of Coronavirus in Nigeria moved to 65, but with five more cases, it has moved to 70.
The NCDC said three of the cases were recorded at the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja while the other two cases were recorded in Oyo State.
“Five new cases of #COVID19 have been reported in Nigeria: 3 in FCT & 2 in Oyo State
“As at 08:00 pm 27th March there are 70 cases of confirmed #COVID19 reported in Nigeria. 3 have been discharged with 1 death,” it said on its twitter handle.