Coronavirus: Nigeria launches appeal for $50 million to vaccinate a million residents

The Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund has launched an appeal to reach a target of $50 million in funding to facilitate the purchase of the COVID-19 vaccine and awareness.

The Fund, a non-profit partnership between the international advocacy organisation Global Citizen and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, has so far raised $2.4 million in donations.

“The NSSF is now well established and with US$2.4 million raised thus far, we need to build on this and grow the fund towards its goal of US$50 million,” chairman of Global Citizen Nigeria, Babatunde Folawiyo, said in a statement.

“The funds will be channelled towards acquiring vaccines and ensuring that Nigerians are well informed about the need for the vaccination,” he said.

“Working with carefully selected partners, our goal is to ensure equitable distribution and application of the vaccinations as well as adequate education and awareness about the benefits of getting vaccinated.”

The fund’s governance structures are considered ready with the appointment of a general manager, Fejiro Chinye-Nwoko.

As its work begins, its immediate priority is to support the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

One strategic priority for the year is to ensure that one million Nigerians are vaccinated against COVID-19 by next year.

The onset of the COVID-19 has highlighted the need for funding to respond to the pandemic.

Several global humanitarian agencies have launched a number of appeals since last year to cover funding gaps.

In March 2020, top officials from the UN, UNICEF and WHO launched a massive $2 billion humanitarian appeal to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on fragile countries with weak health systems in Africa.

It set a precedent for crowdfunding for WHO—the first time the organisation asked the general public and private donors for support.

Ten days after its March 13 launch, it raised US$71 million from 170 000 individuals and organisations, including Facebook, Google, and FIFA.

In December last year, UNICEF issued a record $6.4 billion emergency funding appeal to reach more than 190 million children impacted by humanitarian crises and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding was meant to support essential programs for children and families in need across 149 countries and territories through 2021.

Its call as a platform for resource mobilisation is to philanthropists, corporate organisations, Nigerians at home and in the diaspora, public sector institutions and international donor agencies.

Donations are allowed on the Fund’s website or via direct bank transfers.

“We are ready to serve the people of Nigeria,” said Chinye-Nwoko.

“We strongly believe the pandemic is above all a health crisis and ending this health crisis will result in a durable end of the economic crisis. We look forward to the support of the Nigerian people, as together we can help each other for the good of the whole country.”

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