ECOWAS countries join efforts to fight Covid-19 pandemic
The member countries of ECOWAS have adopted a number of measures to jointly fight the COVID-19 pandemic, including devoting at least 15% of their annual budgets to strengthen health care systems, as they did during the Ebola epidemic few years ago.
During a video-conference, chaired by President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou, the heads of state discussed the pandemic situation in the community and ways of a more effective collective response to the scourge, which has already affected more than 5,000 people in the 15 countries of the region and caused nearly 150 deaths.
Besides the already steps taken to support Member States, the 15 Heads of State and Government decided to appoint a sub-regional champion (a head of state) in the person of Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria to oversee the response to the virus; improve communication, especially in overcrowded areas to manage potential insecurity-related crises; and the allocation of at least 15% of Member States’ annual budgets to strengthen health care systems.
However, many questions remain unanswered, in particular those concerning the financial means necessary to curb the recession in the line of sight for the countries of ECOWAS, if the world remains confined and especially if the coronavirus continues to spread in Africa.