Coronavirus: African Union calls for ‘$100 to 150 billion’ to help continent

In an interview with FRANCE 24, Moussa Faki Mahamat, president of the African Union Commission, spoke about the Covid-19 pandemic, which is gaining ground on the continent. He expressed hope that the international community would help Africa cope with the unprecedented health crisis and appealed for multilateralism, saying “it is an international challenge that requires an international response”.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, spoke to FRANCE 24 from his home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he quarantines himself after a member of his team has been infected by a coronavirus. Faki confirmed that he himself had tested negative for Covid-19 and assured that he was “doing fairly well” while his staff member was recovering in hospital.

As the Covid-19 pandemic spreads across the continent, the Chadian diplomat called on the international community to go beyond “good intentions” and bring massive support to Africa, estimating that between “100 and $ 150 billion “is needed right now. “The African continent needs rapid support in terms of liquidity, so that we can first and foremost deal with this crisis from a health point of view, then to meet … all needs There will be a lot of refugees, a lot of displaced people on our continent, so the states need a lot of support and they need it now, “he said.

Faki expressed the hope that the pandemic “will serve as an anthem, an anthem for multilateralism and solidarity”. “It is an international challenge that requires an international response,” he said.

Total blockage “very difficult” to apply in Africa

Asked about recent comments by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres – who fears “millions of deaths in Africa” ​​because of the health crisis – the Chadian diplomat said he believed the chief’s statement The UN should be seen above all as a warning, calling it a “very welcome message” so that countries understand the risks.

Faki also explained that generalized containment is a very complicated solution to implement in Africa: “Lockdowns cannot be applied in the same way in all countries. There are a number of differences to take into account: sociological, economic, even cultural. differences “, he told FRANCE 24.” It is true that in Africa, on the African continent, there are many poor people who live in big cities and it would therefore be very difficult to apply a total lock in these situations. “

>> Exclusive: Issoufou in Niger echoes a warning that the coronavirus could kill millions of people in Africa