Businessman Strive Masiyiwa has made an appeal to the World Bank, IMF and other multinational institutions for humanitarian funds for Zimbabwe and Sudan to help foot for economic costs involved in controlling Covid-19 and to upgrade medical services.
In a statement, Mr Masiyiwa appealed to the two financial institutions to create humanitarian trusts for the two countries where at least US$500 million will be seeded to help their response to coronavirus.
Mr Masiyiwa’s appeal comes after Zimbabwe was left out of a debt payment relief programme of the G20 because it is under sanctions.
“At the last World Bank, IMF and G20 meetings, many African countries secured debt relief by way of ‘standstills’ on interest payments, which are valued at over US$22 billion. More than half of that money has been disbursed already to countries in Africa, as it was sitting in debt service accounts.
These African countries can now urgently buy Medical Equipment, PPE and ventilators. They can also train and pay doctors and nurses. Two countries were conspicuous in their omission from any form of relief: Zimbabwe and Sudan. This is because they are under sanctions.
While I don’t want to get into the issues around how and why there are sanctions, everyone knows that I personally had to flee my country, Zimbabwe, because of persecution 20 years ago. I have not been back since.I am not a politician, just an entrepreneur working day and night to create wealth and jobs across many African nations.
I have not spoken to anyone in the governments of these countries, including that of Zimbabwe, with respect to this matter. I have no personal contact with the leaders of these governments. For the avoidance of doubt; this is not an appeal for the lifting of sanctions.
We are deeply concerned about the potential loss of life if international aid does not come quickly, especially to address the needs of this pandemic” he said.
Mr Masiyiwa suggested that there be created a special Purpose Trust Vehicle run by independent people to manage the trust funds where he himself will donate towards efforts to curb corona virus in Zimbabwe.
“I would like to respectfully make the following suggestion; Creation of a Special Purpose Trust Vehicle, under the leadership of independent people, including global humanitarians
I would like to appeal to the World Bank, IMF and other multilateral institutions, to create humanitarian trusts for each country, which are managed by third parties, along the lines of the Global Fund.I would urge them to consider seeding the trusts with at least US$500 million and inviting others including private philanthropy to participate.
In the case of Zimbabwe, I will personally contribute in a trust and encourage friends and partners to do the same. The money would be used to provide urgently required medical supplies, training and remuneration for health care workers. We can also provide urgently needed repairs to hospitals and rural clinics across the country” said Masiyiwa.
Mr Masiyiwa has led several humanitarian efforts to boost Zimbabwe’s health sector and containing disease outbreaks. In 2019, Strive Masiyiwa together with his wife donated a total of US$10m to fight the Cholera Outbreak that happened in the country and pledged to provide US$60m to build resilience against the disease.
This year, he set up a 100 million dollar fund to pay striking doctors to return to work. The fund saw each doctor getting a subsistence allowance of Zwl$5 000 on top of what they earn.