Africa Cabo Verde Cape Verde Coronavirus Economy Finance Government Health

Cabo Verde to use €1.6M from emergency fund in COVID-19 measures

Cabo Verde’s government has approved the use of €1.6 million from the country’s National Emergency Fund (FNE) to fund measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact in the archipelago, where there have been 106 confirmed cases of infection since the first was registered on 19 March.

According to cabinet resolution 67/2020 of 25 April, which Lusa has seen, the decision to mobilise this sum from the FNE was made “bearing in mind the context that the country is going through” – above all the social and economic impact of the restrictions imposed to stop its spread.

“It is essential that the National Emergency Fund (FNE), created by Decree-Law No. 59/2018 of 16 November, intervene in order to minimise specific needs of some social strata of the population, through the financing of measures to complement those existing in the area of social action, facilitating their access to resources, goods and services in order to improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable households,” the new resolution reads.

To this end, the cabinet approved the use of 187,890,000 escudos (€1.6 million) from the FNE, to be transferred to the Ministry of Internal Administration.

“It is necessary to finance, nationwide, actions, activities and resources such as hospital materials, acquisition of personal protection equipment, leasing of spaces, travel and stays, purchase of fuel, among other key expenses that contribute to raise the degree of operational readiness of the national authorities in combating COVID-19,” the resolution adds.

The FNE was created by the current government with an initial allocation equivalent to €1.3 million, to cope with natural disasters and increase the country’s operational capacity. It is supposed to be bolstered annually with 0.5% of the previous year’s unallocated tax revenues.

Cabo Verde is a volcanic archipelago, vulnerable to climate change and which throughout its history has had to face many droughts, some floods, volcanic eruptions and fires.

The government in 2019 approved the winding up of the International Support for Cabo Verde Stabilization Trust Fund (created in 1998 as part of the country’s then economic reform programme, with the objective of eliminating public debt), which at the time had resources of €100 million, and the distribution of these to the FNE (€10 million) and the new Sovereign Private Investment Guarantee Fund (€90 million).

Cape Verde has had 106 cases of COVID-19 on the islands of Boa Vista (54 cases), Santiago (51) and São Vicente (1). One of these patients, a 62-year-old British tourist – the first person to be diagnosed with the disease in the country, on 19 March on Boa Vista – eventually died, while one patient has so far been reported as having recovered.

On these three islands with confirmed coronavirus cases the state of emergency is in effect until at least 2 May. On the remaining six islands, which have hda no cases of the disease, the emergency was lifted on Monday.

Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has already claimed some 204,000 lives and infected more than 2.9 million people in 193 countries and territories. Almost 800,000 patients are deemed to have recovered.

Source: Macau Business

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