A UN finance support platform tagged “One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund”, says it has received additional one million dollars to help Nigeria to address challenges posed by the pandemic in the country.
The UN Development Programme (UNDP), which manages the basket fund, made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
The statement quoted Mohamed Yahya, the UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, as saying that the additional fund was to aid Nigeria, as it witnessed a rapid rise in the number of confirmed cases.
Yahya said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated one million dollars in support of the Nigerian government in addressing the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic on July 14, 2020.
He said the UN welcomed the contribution of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as it aimed to support the country’s response in the management of the crisis and the realities of post-crisis, particularly in the protection of vulnerable persons.
He added that “as a recognised COVID-19 Response Financing and Investment Platform, this facility provides us a timely opportunity to stand with Nigeria and channel financial contributions toward the COVID-19 multi-sectoral response.
“Working as one UN enables us to minimise the risk of duplication of efforts and ensures efficient mobilisation and rapid deployment of resources.”
The UNDP resident representative said that the unfolding COVID-19 situation in Nigeria called for solidarity and coordinated support to the government to the response plan of the country.
“Through the Basket Fund, the UN aims to ensure policy coherence, programmatic alignment, harmonisation, and coordination of support to the Government of Nigeria during the time of crisis,’’ Yahya said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the UN, in collaboration with the Nigerian government, launched the One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund on April 6, 2020.
The Basket Fund serves as the One COVID-19 Financing and Investment Platform, through which different stakeholders can channel their financial support to the multi-sectoral efforts of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Response.
The overall management of the One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund is led and coordinated by the Project Board.
The Project Board has representation from the Presidential Task Force; Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), relevant government departments, fund contributing donors and the UN.
As of June 2020, the Basket Fund, managed by UNDP mobilised 61.3 million dollars, including 54.6 million dollars from the European Union (EU) and 2.2 million dollars from UN agencies.
Also, the fund received four million dollars from the private sector (Dangote 3.8 million dollars and AP Maersk 0.2 million dollars); and 0.4 million dollars from the Government of Switzerland.