Nairobi, Kenya, August 26, 2021 – Today the Africa Public Health Foundation (APHF) announced that it received the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation new grant in the amount of US$2.75 million from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to help expand the effective and timely roll-out of safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 in Africa through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). With mass vaccination programs being rolled out internationally, Africa must not be left behind.
By August 26, 2021, the number of Covid-19 cases in the African continent was over 7.5 million. The continent’s largest vaccination drive is in progress and Africa CDC is leading in the frontlines to ensure that the African people are vaccinated. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), for Africa, the aim is to vaccinate at least 20% of the population by providing up to 600 million doses by the end of 2021. The grant from the Hilton Foundation to APHF is the first commitment from a group of foundations committed to combining funding and expediting the equitable delivery of vaccinations in Africa. Through this support, vaccination centres will be established, personnel and volunteers trained, and essential commodities purchased in up to five countries.
Dr. Francisco Songane, Interim CEO of the Africa Public Health Foundation said, “The Africa Public Health Foundation is sincerely grateful for the leadership and support of the team at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. It is our mission to forge partnerships and mobilise resources for Africa CDC. In facing the COVID-19 pandemic, this kind of collaboration is needed more than ever, and we are delighted that our partners are joining forces to give quickly and collectively. Vaccine equity — the equitable distribution of vaccines worldwide — is essential to ending COVID-19.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the African Union and Africa CDC have sought to engage and involve a wide range of representatives across all Member States to ensure an effective and efficient continental response, that reflects and represents the needs and challenges of those they are working to support. This collaborative approach has been key to the continent’s success to date and has helped shape crucial processes and guidance.
Further doses are required to reach the minimum 60% population target to develop ‘herd immunity’ which would alter the course of the pandemic. In addition, on-the-ground support is crucial to ensure vaccines arriving in ports can reach target populations across the continent to save lives, protect the health of vulnerable people and open up economies. The Hilton Foundation grant that will be managed by APHF will help to counter these challenges and to provide a mechanism to enable the safe, effective, and equitable roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines in the Member States which can most benefit from this support, and for this to be enacted at speed, to meet the pressing needs of communities.
“We are proud to support the Africa Public Health Foundation’s work to make COVID-19 vaccines more accessible throughout Africa,” shares Peter Laugharn, President and CEO at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “By increasing equitable distribution of these vaccines across the continent, we know that more communities will have safe and effective protection as we work together toward pandemic recovery efforts.”
Note to the Editors
About the Africa Public Health Foundation
The Africa Public Health Foundation exists to forge partnerships and mobilise resources to support critical public health initiatives across the continent, in support of Africa CDC. Established in September 2019, APHF is mobilising flexible funds to accelerate the Africa CDC-led COVID-19 response and the initiatives that will follow, with the aim of strengthening public health systems. For more information and to sign up for APHF’s newsletter, please visit http://www.aphf.africa.
About Africa CDC
Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union, which supports Member States in their efforts to strengthen health systems and improve surveillance, emergency response, prevention, and control of diseases. For more information, visit the Africa CDC website.
About The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
International hotelier Conrad N. Hilton established the grantmaking foundation that bears his name in 1944 to help people living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage worldwide. Today, the work continues, concentrating on efforts to ensure healthy early childhood development and sustainable livelihoods for youth, support young people transitioning out of foster care, improve access to housing and support services for people experiencing homelessness, identify solutions to safe water access, and lift the work of Catholic sisters. Additionally, following selection by an independent, international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to an organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. The Foundation is one of the world’s largest, with $7.5 billion in assets. It has awarded grants to date totalling more than $2 billion, $207 million worldwide in 2020. Please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org for more information.
For Africa CDC
Dr. Benjamin Djoudalbaye
Head, Division of Policy, Health Diplomacy and Communication
For Africa Public Health Foundation