‘Saving lives and livelihoods’ – reflecting on one year of the African Development Bank’s Covid-19 Response Facility
Easter Kumbana knew the novel coronavirus was a deadly and highly contagious disease, but he could not afford the basic items needed to protect himself and his family from it.
“I had no money to buy face masks and hand sanitizers because the little money I had was needed to feed my children,” said Kumbana, a resident of Kanyama, an impoverished community on the outskirts of the Zambian capital Lusaka.
Kumbana and other Africans were at the heart of the African Development Bank’s multi-billion dollar Covid-19 Response Facility announced a year ago. The goal was to help millions across the continent deal with the health and economic consequences of the pandemic.
Fortunately, an African Development Bank outreach program in Zambia in which thousands of face masks and hand sanitizers were distributed to vulnerable communities provided Kumbana the needed protection. The program also spread the message about the outbreak through a communications campaign that included radio advertisements and posters promoting social distancing.