Africa examines COVID-19 induced supply chain hurdles

African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy holds meeting to keep critical air cargo in skies

Addis Getachew   | 22.04.2020
Africa examines COVID-19 induced supply chain hurdles )

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia 

The African Union demanded an urgent need to maintain COVID-19-related supply chains Wednesday by keeping the continent’s air cargo services in the skies.  

The request came in a communique issued after a video conference between African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Amani Abou-Zeid and African ambassadors to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

“They discussed issues central to the urgent need to maintain the supply chain for drugs; medical equipment and food supplies to facilitate the humanitarian assistance missions to AU member States being organized by the Africa CDC, the World Food Program (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in the efforts to support the effective implementation of the continental strategy on COVID-19 approved by the Extraordinary Summit of the AU Heads of State held on 3rd April 2020,” according to the communique.

African heads of state and government decided in early April on the operationalizing of the African Union COCID-19 Response Fund established March 26 where members pledged $12.5 million and an additional $4.5million to fund the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The meeting indicated the need to keep airports open and maintain air navigation services for cargo flights and humanitarian assistance.

Activities are underway by the Commission and aviation agencies “to develop an Africa-focused economic assessment of the impact of COVID-19 to the air transport industry,” said the communique.

“They agreed to work together to develop and implement the relief measures to help the air transport industry recover from the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic, in a well-coordinated framework involving the key air transport stakeholders,” it said.

Africa CDC update

Africa CDC showed Wednesday the number of coronavirus cases across 52 nations was up to 25,131.
Total deaths stands at 1,205 with 6,576 patients recovering.

The northern part of the continent is the hardest hit in the region, according to CDC, followed by the west and south.

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