By Malik Toure
The United Nations in Mali through MINUSMA signed on Monday, April 6, with the Malian Ministry of Health and Social Affairs three (3) memoranda of understanding that will enable an integrated and rapid response to the health crisis prompted by the Covid-19 virus.
With a total amount of US$2,732,043 or nearly 1,650,000,000 CFA francs financed by MINUSMA, these memoranda implemented by the Ministry of Health with the technical support of the World Health Organization (WHO), outline three projects aimed at acquiring specialized medical equipment and materials without delay. They will also provide health-care personnel with adequate training in order to operationalize measures to prevent and mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the same vein and in order to save more lives, the United Nations agencies, funds and programmes will provide support in various sectors amounting to US$ 3,449,982, or nearly 2,040,000,000 CFA francs. The scope of this support is expected to be even broader, with in-kind contributions based on the comparative advantages of each entity.
For Bamako region, the most affected by the upsurge of the virus, in addition to mitigation measures, the project will focus on the acquisition of vital equipment to support health structures. It will also support health and security centres, particularly at Bamako airport to better monitor passengers on domestic and international flights. The same arrangements will be made through two other projects for the regions of Mopti, Gao, Ménaka, Taoudéni, Timbuktu and Kidal.
“These projects support the Government of Mali in responding quickly and effectively to the Covid-19 pandemic. Together with the implementing partner, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, we must ensure that the epidemic is contained with this donation of equipment and training while continuing prevention and awareness,” said Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations family in Mali.
“The support that has been materialized today through the signing of these three memoranda of understanding is proof of our integrated and multisectoral approach to have an impact on the Malian people and meet their expectations. Our support covers all 10 regions of Mali. It strengthens the measures already taken by the government in terms of prevention, including hand washing, social distancing, diagnosis, treatment and also isolation, not to mention control at entry points,” said Jean-Pierre Baptiste, WHO Representative in Mali.
MINUSMA and the United Nations system together with their partners remain committed to working alongside the Government and people of Mali to strengthen the response against the spread of Covid-19. New initiatives, including through the Trust Fund for Peace and Security in Mali, will be announced shortly. The United Nations system has realigned its efforts in the fight against Covid-19, but continues all its humanitarian, peace and development efforts.