Rockefeller commits nearly $23 million to COVID-19 recovery in Africa

Rockefeller commits nearly $23 million to COVID-19 recovery in Africa

The Rockefeller Foundation has announced grants totaling $22.95 million in support of efforts to improve health equity and an equitable post-pandemic recovery in Africa.

Part of a commitment of $1 billion over three years in support of an inclusive and green post-pandemic recovery on the continent, the grants will fund efforts to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines; leverage innovation, data, and machine learning; address an escalating food crisis; and expand access to renewable energy. To that end, the foundation will collaborate with NGOs, businesses, and government agencies in ten countries: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. 

Partner organizations include Ending Pandemics, which will use its grant to scale EpiCore, a crowdsourced epidemic intelligence platform, and help strengthen the capacity of Tanzania-based EAIDSNet to detect and respond to disease outbreaks; Shining Hope for Communities, in support of efforts to expand COVID-19 testing and tracing in informal settlements in Kenya; the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, which will use the funds to provide small and midsize enterprises with the resources needed to provide access to nutritious foods during the pandemic; the Eastern Africa Grain Council, in support of the development of a smart market concept that increases access to safe, affordable, and nutritious food; and Konexa, which is launching an integrated electricity distribution platform in Nigeria.

The announcement follows an announcement by the foundation last week of a $12 million grant to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in support of the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT).

"With this initial round of funding, we are beginning to deliver on our billion-dollar pledge to help end the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa and for us all," said Rockefeller Foundation president Rajiv Shah, "while investing in wealth-building opportunities for those who have been shut out of economic progress and are bearing the brunt of this pandemic."

(Photo credit: Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition)