Enhancing Peace and Security in the Eastern Africa Region

United Against Covid-19

Like the rest of the world, the EASF Member States have not been spared from the Covid-19 pandemic. The impact of this health crisis on Member States’ economies, health, and social sectors has been significant. Amidst such an alarming situation,

EASF Member States have been equally resilient and smart in combating this ongoing public health emergency. The Eastern Africa Standby Force is particularly satisfied with the level of commitment and determination by its Member States in mitigating the effects of the pandemic on their citizens.

With a high number of people from most of EASF's Member States working in the informal sector, it has been necessary for governments to impose restrictions on movement and other public health measures as ways of reducing the spread of the virus. There is also a strong communications campaign encouraging residents to stay at home unless for essential business. The Member States are also conducting rigorous testing campaigns and awareness programs in all their respective countries.
A high-level virtual meeting with leaders from the East African Community (EAC) attended by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and others, was convened in May 2020. During the meeting, the leaders agreed that there was need to prioritize the implementation of anti-COVID-19 measures at the border points in order to ensure uninterrupted cross-border movement of goods, even as the region continues to battle Covid-19. President Kenyatta informed his colleagues that his country had increased its testing capacity and this has played an important role in the fight against the virus. "A unified stand is what we need to combat this pandemic in the region," Kenyatta told his regional peers during the meeting.

It was also noted by the Heads of State that the region must put a strong emphasis on prioritizing local production of essential goods and the provision of services needed to combat COVID-19. The meeting further acknowledged the efforts being made by the countries in the region to increase awareness programs especially in rural areas.

One-third of African countries managed to successfully contain the coronavirus, while another third have widespread community transmission, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). According to Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s regional Director for Africa, a peak in these cases is expected in some countries in the next six weeks in community transmission. “I have a lot of faith in the resilience of African people, their ingenuity,” she said, adding that she hoped governments and the international community would help Africa deal with the crisis.
Most of the EASF Member States took immediate and effective measures in a timely manner, such as the closing of the entry points especially the airports. Most of EASF’s countries have closed borders since March and with zero deaths recorded in Uganda and Seychelles until now.

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