The initiative was hailed by the 15 beneficiary countries and by other diplomats and analysts as a token of Morocco’s unwavering solidarity with the continent, especially after its return to the African Union in January 2017, a date after which it consolidated its existing alliances and forged new ones.
The medical aid started arriving in the beneficiary countries, namely Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo, Eswatini, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Mauritania, Niger, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Tanzania, Chad and Zambia.
The medical supplies include nearly 8 million facemasks, 900,000 face shields, 600,000 hygiene caps, 60,000 protective clothing and 30,000 liters of sanitizers in addition to 75,000 packs of chloroquine and 15,000 packs of Azithromycin.
Many journalists, public figures, and African media have expressed gratitude for King Mohammed VI’s move, which translates the significance of solidarity in Africa and materializes how “Africa helps Africa” as put by the Permanent Representative of the Comoros to the African Union.
The African continent, which has been spared the mass outbreak seen in China, Europe and elsewhere, is witnessing an increase in contaminations since the first case was reported in Egypt in mid-February.
The continent is now facing the real risk of the virus spreading rapidly beyond capital cities where health infrastructure is generally weak.
As the virus spreads to Africa’s rural areas, “a lack of tests and other supplies was hampering responses,” said WHO’s Africa regional director Matshidiso Moeti last week.