African Union reaffirms support to WHO

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The African Union (AU) recognizes and appreciates the good work that has been undertaken by the World Health Organization (WHO) in combatting COVID-19, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in his capacity as AU Chairperson.

The AU also commends the management of Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, in leading the global response to the pandemic, Ramaphosa said in a statement distributed by his office on Wednesday night.

As the world grapples with the challenge of the coronavirus, there is a need for solidarity, unity of purpose and better coordination to ensure that the world be able to overcome this common enemy, Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa said that it is within this context that he, as AU Chairperson and President of South Africa, reaffirms his appreciation for the exceptional leadership of Tedros as the Director-General of the WHO from the very earliest stages of this unprecedented global health crisis.

The AU “notes with a sense of satisfaction” the various initiatives and measures that are continuously undertaken by the WHO to mitigate the spread of the pandemic such as mobilizing resources, sharing the real-time information and providing the technical and material support, Ramaphosa said.

“On a daily basis, the WHO has been an essential technical and scientific partner to the African Union and the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), as we work to mitigate the pandemic which has now reached nearly every member state,” said Ramaphosa.

The AU has seen Dr Tedros in action before when he and the world-class WHO health experts led global efforts to fight against Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in appreciation of these efforts, the AU extends its unwavering support to the WHO and its Director-General, Ramaphosa said.

The AU calls upon international community to join hands to support the efforts of Dr Tedros and the entire WHO family as they lead global efforts to fight this pandemic, said Ramaphosa.

While all the countries are facing daunting and frustrating tasks to contain the spread of the pandemic, they should avoid temptation to apportion blame to any individual, institution or any country at a time when they should all be working together, he said.

“We should work together to confront our common enemy in the form of COVID-19; and we should not allow ourselves to be distracted by anything else. Our success against this pandemic will only be realized through collaboration, cooperation and most importantly through global solidarity,” Ramaphosa noted. Agencies

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