IGAD decides to establish regional response to fight coronavirus
The IGAD leaders on Monday agreed to establish a strategy to fight pandemic diseases and an emergency fund for its implementation.
The heads of states and governments of the IGAD held a meeting on Monday chaired by the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok who is also the Chair of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government.
The extraordinary meeting was dedicated to deliberate on an IGAD strategy to combat the spread of the Corona Virus (COVID-19) in the region.
Besides Hamdok, took part in the video conference discussions Djibouti’s President, Ismail Omar Guelleh, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed; South Sudan FVP Riek Machar and the IGAD Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu (PhD).
In a statement released after the meeting, the regional body agreed on the need for a joint approach to deal with the respiratory disease due to the strong interactivity and circulation of the population in the region.
The IGAD leaders decided to "Formulate an IGAD Regional Response Strategy to pandemic diseases particularly COVID-19. IGAD Ministers of Health and Finance shall meet virtually to inform the strategy," said the statement.
Further, they decided to "Establish an IGAD Emergency Fund for the control of pandemic diseases and the strengthening of health systems in the region".
The IGAD also agreed to strengthen national health systems and build local manufacturing capacity for medical equipment and supplies to fight pandemic diseases.
They also called on the international financial institutions to cancel the debts of IGAD countries to free up resources to fight the Coronavirus.