West African leaders on Saturday announced that the region’s economic and development body — the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) — is committing $25 million over five years towards COVID-19 relief and recovery plans.
The announcement was made at Global Goal: Unite for Our Future — The Summit, where world leaders, corporates, and philanthropists pledged their support and solidarity to the global response to COVID-19.
The $25 million commitment by ECOWAS will be used to develop resources and ensure all people in West Africa have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Of this funding, $15 million will go towards education and skills development, and the remaining $10 million will support health care and other human capital indicators. Finda Koroma, vice-president of the ECOWAS Commission, said: “ECOWAS is committed to promoting human capital for the people of West Africa.”
#ThankYou .@ecowas_cedeao for your pledge to ensure the people West Africa gain continued access to quality education + skills development + health + food + nutrition +clean water +sanitation and hygiene + and gender equality across the region! ⭕️ pic.twitter.com/0j7ZwHv3XV— Global Citizen Impact (@GlblCtznImpact) June 27, 2020
Koroma added that this will be achieved by “prioritising quality education and skills development, health, food and nutrition, clean water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as gender equality across the region.”
The Summit came ahead of Global Goal: Unite for Our Future —The Concert, premiering around the world on June 27, and brought together world leaders, corporates, and philanthropists, all committing their support in tackling COVID-19 for the world’s poorest and most marginalised communities.
The “Global Goal: Unite for Our Future” campaign, under the patronage of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, is working to help fast-track the development of COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines; and ensure that these vital tools are distributed equitably and globally to reach everyone, everywhere.
The campaign has mobilised more than $1.5 billion in cash grants and $5.4 billion in loans and guarantees, for a total of $6.9 billion pledged to provide equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines, as well as support for the world’s poorest and most marginalised communities.
The ECOWAS commitment comes alongside pledges of support from 40 government leaders, including all G7 member states, and key intergovernmental bodies such as the European Union, the United Nations, and the African Union.
West Africa is home to 10 of the world’s 25 poorest nations, making the support of ECOWAS particularly valuable to the global COVID-19 effort to ensure no one is left behind in tackling the pandemic.
“Global Goal: Unite for Our Future — The Summit” is a significant milestone in the global response to COVID-19. Across the world, the pandemic has increased hunger, interrupted education and learning, and put girls and women, and other marginalised communities, at greater risk of harm.
By coming together to mobilise resources, including tens of billions in funding still needed to combat COVID-19, the global community will be able to lessen the impact on the world’s vulnerable people and communities, and to protect the world’s most fragile health systems.
Commitments and announcements were made by government leaders from: Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, ECOWAS, European Union, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, the State of Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Kingdom Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Join the movement by taking action to continue to support the Global Goal: Unite for Our Future campaign here. You can also find out more about COVID-19, how it’s impacts are being felt around the world, and what we need to do to stop it, through Global Citizen’s coverage here.