The United Nations has selected Ghana’s capital, Accra, along with a few others to set up Africa-wide regional hubs for its humanitarian operations in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
Other hubs will be established in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the Egyptian capital of Cairo and Johannesburg in South Africa to serve three main functions;
* As cargo hubs to receive medical and humanitarian supplies from United Nations global hubs for distribution to UN entities in the region;
* As regional aviation services to ensure the transportation of UN humanitarian personnel around the region in the absence of commercial flights and;
* As locations for the establishment of regional treatment centres for UN staff who are staying in the region to deliver on humanitarian and development mandates.
A statement issued Thursday to the Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on COVID-19, signed by Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) announced the initiative.
It added that the UN was working with ECOWAS in Nigeria to make available UN procurement system to obtain value for money in the acquisition and speedy delivery of essential medical supplies needed by the sub-regional health organization (WAHO) for distribution to member states in the fight against COVID-19.
It said the world body was working closely with national governments to set up the regional humanitarian hubs and that the Secretary-General would in the coming days write to ECOWAS Heads of State to seek their support for the initiative.