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Republic of Benin COVID-19 Laboratories Commence Operations after Grant from the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program

عادل حامد

The Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program, led by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) has granted emergency funding to the Republic of Benin to facilitate its COVID-19 ‘Screen-Isolate-Treat’ strategy as it fights to halt the spread of the virus.

This initiative comes in line with the AATB Response to COVID-19 Crisis Plan set by the Executive Committee of the AATB, including the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), at its meeting which was held on April 9, 2020, approved a “Response from the AATB to the COVID-19 crisis ”, in order to strengthen the capacities of member countries to respond to the pandemic and to strengthen the resilience of the health sector in African and Arab countries.

To this end, 17 laboratories will be made operational in all departments and 89 sorting and screening sites (each municipality will have at least one sorting and screening site). Depending on the protocol to be used, rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and PCR will be used.

The main targets for screening are high-risk, vulnerable and key worker groups, including teachers, school administrative staff, salespersons in schools, truckers and apprentices at land entry points, medical professionals, in addition to forces involved with the fight against COVID-19.

Commenting on ITFC’s financial support to the Republic of Benin, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, ITFC CEO, said: “We are working hard with our partners at the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Program to provide critical life-saving support to our member countries and the hundreds of millions of people  in them that need immediate help. In alignment with the IsDB 3Rs Package, ITFC’s support for Benin will help to halt the spread of the virus and save lives.”

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