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German donates $128 million to EAC

By: James Arusi in Tanzania

The German government has donated US$ 128 million to the East African Community (EAC).

The German’s Charge’ d’ Affaires in Tanzania, Jorg Herrera and EAC Secretary General Liberat Mfumukeko Thursday signed the agreement formalizing the donation in Tanzanian Capital Arusha.

The donation is aimed at enhancing the regional body’s fight against combatable diseases and reducing the rate of illiteracy.

About US$ 105 million of the grant is allocated to immunization programmes that will be implemented by the Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and procurement of pentavalent, rotavirus, pneumococcal and measles for children in the six-partner state of the EAC.

Mfumukeko said all partner States across the region would benefit from the grant.

“This grant will benefit all the partner States and we are keen on health in the community and the citizens. We have corporation with German in different projects and this is one of the many projects supporting us.”

The German government corporation with the East African community in the Health sector is said to have financed over 80 million doses of life saving vaccines to reduce child mortality rate according to UNICEF and WHO 2016 reports.

Herrera said a healthy population contributes greatly to the development of the region.

“Vaccinations are highly effective, cost efficient means to fight child mortality.

“There is no economic development without a health population,” he added.

East African Community budget for the financial year 2019/2020 amounting to over US$ 110 million, with the health research commission mandated to handle health issues in the region getting nearly US$ 4 million allocation. The German grant allocated US$ 2 million to support Ebola preparation under the ongoing EAC –German project in the region and US$ 5.3 million to the Academic Centre for Digital Innovation in East Africa located at Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology in Arusha, Tanzania.  

According to Mfumukeko, the new commitment of US$ 105 million of Phase VII used for procurement of vaccines has a possibility of extension to procure Yellow Fever and HPV vaccines in the six partner states.

 He added that, the procurement of these vaccines would take place within the year of 2019 and 2020.

German’s Government Corporation with the EAC is also stretched to various programmes geared towards deepening integration in the community.

Mfumukeko further said that other agreements to be signed with Germany would involve Health preparedness, education and economic integration.

Despite growing concerns on the beneficiaries from partner States of the EAC sanctioned by the EU and US especially Burundi and South Sudan.

“The Programme covers Burundi and South Sudan inclusively, but when we organize technical meetings there’re restrictions on a number of people who are under the presidential decree” said Mfumukeko.

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