UN Agencies In ECOWAS Draw Strategy To Contain COVID-19
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), through its sub-regional office for West Africa (SRO-WA) has had a virtual meeting to device strategies on the platform to harness synergies to contain COVID-19.
It was under the auspices of the Development Coordination Office (DCO) and the United Nations Resident Coordinators (RC) in West Africa and the Commission of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) were participants.
The meeting aimed to discuss the areas of collaboration between ECA-SRO-WA and the RCs in West Africa in integrating the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 into country-level frameworks and responses and leverage such partnership for greater support to countries’ recovery and their implementation of the Decade of Action for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The RCs in West Africa noted that the pandemic is a crisis but it is also an opportunity to showcase the relevance of the UN in delivering as one.
After giving a summary of the support of RCs to the COVID-19 responses in Africa, the Senior Programme Officer at the DCO, Themba Kalua said: “In almost all the countries we see how by working together we are really adding value and supporting the Governments in the response”.
The RCs and ECOWAS expressed the need to partner with ECA SRO-WA for a harmonized and coordinated response to COVID-19 at the regional level.
Presenting the findings of the video conference Summit of the 15 Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS on the situation and impact of the coronavirus held on 23 April 2020, the Vice President of ECOWAS, Finda Koromo said that “the Heads of State confirmed the need for harmonized and coordinated approach as a regional body”.
The Director of ECA SRO-WA, Ngone Diop said: “Coming together to try to think how we can more strategically building on our partnership to responding as one, delivering as one, to the needs and responses of our countries is extremely important”.
The participants to this meeting agreed to create with the facilitation of DCO, a platform that will bring all together on specific development issues.
“We must make that platform a concrete one and start moving with it in a very concrete manner”, concluded Ngone Diop.
Reflections between DCO, RCs in West Africa, ECOWAS, and ECA SRO-WA took place in the context of a sub-region that faces several challenges: COVID19, violent extremism, and terrorism and their consequences on development.