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UN sets up Africa regional knowledge Hub to fight COVID-19

As the world grapples with an unprecedented global health crisis of COVID-19, the United Nations is spearheading a digital hub to house information and knowledge resources to assist crucial development system partners in fighting the pandemic in Africa.

The virus has caused a global crisis affecting the core of humanity, affecting the social, economic, environment and related spheres, and it is attacking societies indiscriminately. In Africa, the region’s fragile health systems and economic costs can derail the socio-economic development trajectory of the global Sustainable Development Goals and the regional Agenda 2063 aspirations.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) projects that Africa’s GDP growth will decrease by almost half to 1.8 percent. In the region, COVID-19 is already disrupting millions of people’s livelihoods, with disproportionate impact on poor households and small and informal businesses.

Evidenced-based information and data from credible sources will be key not only to inform the COVID19 but also to aid the decision-making processes of governments, UN agencies and development partners to save the lives of people and economies. The Africa Knowledge Hub for COVID19 will be a resource open to all users,” said Oliver Chinganya, Director of the Africa Centre for Statistics.

The Hub will focus on developing and providing knowledge services from the wider UN system using intelligent clustering and contextualization by leveraging both human and intelligent machine processes. In addition, the Hub will also provide an interactive platform for collaboration, consultation and networking on important issues for the development agenda on the continent.

ECA and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) co-convened this initiative together with all UNDS entities. The collaboration is under Strengthened integrated data and statistical systems for sustainable development (Opportunity/Issue Based Coalition 1) with technical expertise on the development of the Hub provided by ECA.

ECA, one of the UN’s five regional commissions, promotes the economic and social development of its member States, fosters intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development

UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

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