The United Nations says it has mobilised $2 million (N756 million) to assist Nigeria’s fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Mr Edward Kallon, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, made the announcement at a “national conference” in Abuja on Tuesday, the organisation said in a report on its website .
Kallon said the funds would be used to procure essential medical supplies in support of government’s efforts to contain the virus and care for those infected.
As of Tuesday, there were 44 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one resultant death in Nigeria, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“The UN system in Nigeria will support rapid procurement of disease commodity packages for surveillance, prevention and control, and clinical management,” he said.
Kallon added that the UN would support the government’s efforts to immediately set up a national response fund to address the pandemic in the country.
The fund is expected to serve as a “single national platform and financing framework, coordinating partnerships and mobilising resources that can make an effective impact on the ground.
“The gesture is part of a wider UN strategy to amplify efforts by governments around the world to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It also underscores the urgent need for collaboration, given the multifaceted nature of the virus and its impact on Nigeria’s economy and society,” the coordinator said.
According to the report, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, thanked the organisation for the support.
The minister said the Federal Government would ensure that resources are deployed where they are needed most.
Ehanire assured of the ministry’s preparedness for both “worst-case and best-case scenarios”