AfDB and Partners Sign Agreement Letter on Emergency Aid Grant

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Guinea-Bissau’s Economy and Plan Minister, Héléna Maria José Nosolini Embalo; the WHO Resident Representative in Bissau, Allarangar Yokouide; and the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group’s Regional Resident Representative in Senegal, Mohamed H’Midouche; on Friday, February 27, 2009, in Bissau, signed a letter of agreement for the implementation of a US$ 500,000 emergency aid grant in support of efforts at checking a cholera epidemic.

During the signing ceremony, which was attended by the country’s Health Minister, Camilo Simoes Perreira, and other senior government officials, Mrs. Embalo underscored cooperation ties between Guinea Bissau and the AfDB, adding that the new financial assistance had been requested from the AfDB in 2008 when the country was dealing with a severe cholera epidemic which resulted in the deaths of 225 people. She said that the grant would be used to prevent the epidemic by building the country’s national health services response capacity. She called for an improvement in the clinical management of future occurrences and the holding of mortality rates below 1%.

The AfDB regional resident representative, for his part, recalled that the new grant approved by the African Development Fund’s board of directors on February 12, 2009, would make it possible to implement various programmes aimed at strengthening the country’s disease control and early warning system in order to better check the disease, from outbreak and social mobilization in order to fight against its vectors. He recalled the role the WHO would play in efforts at implementing the programme and appropriate measures to be taken by the country’s health ministry authorities to check future outbreaks.

The AfDB has, since 1976, helped Guinea Bissau in its development efforts and its net commitments are estimated at UA 180 million, including large sectors such as agriculture, governance, finance, energy and the social sector. With regard to the social sector, the AfDB has granted the country some UA 51 million, including UA 21 million to finance efforts at strengthening its health system. Regarding the fight against cholera, the grant is the second given to the country with each support amounting to US$ 500,000.

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