Mastercard Foundation donates $1.3 billion to boost Africa’s coronavirus response

One of the world’s largest foundations will spend 1.3 billion dollars over the next three years to acquire and deliver COVID-19 vaccines for more than 50 million people in Africa.

It’s a first-of-its-kind effort for a Western nonprofit to bolster Africa’s lagging vaccination campaign amid widespread fears of a third wave of infections on the continent.

The Tuesday announcement from the Toronto-based Mastercard Foundation, which has more than 39 billion dollars in assets, comes days after the World Health Organization said Africa was encountering an alarming mix of a spike in virus cases and “a near halt” of vaccine shipments.

The delays have been tied to India’s halt on vaccine exports, among other things.

According to an AP News article, the foundation will purchase single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines at the discounted rate negotiated by the African Union during its 220 million dose deal with the vaccine manufacturer.

Adolphus Mawolo reports.

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