The new COVID-19 Africa Rapid Grant Fund led by the National Research Foundation (NRF) South Africa is supported by an international collaboration of funders including UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and will fund researchers across Africa to look at prevention, diagnostics and treatments of COVID-19.
The £3.8M fund also includes an innovative component to bolster science and health in efforts to produce and disseminate accurate and timely information about COVID-19 for the public.
Dr Molapo Qhobela, Chief Executive Officer of the NRF, said: “The current pandemic has taken a significant toll on the lives and health of millions of people across the globe. Strategic partnerships and concerted efforts such those leveraged here are an essential element of delivery on the mandate of science granting councils, such as the NRF, to advance, enable, support and promote scientific research and science engagement, especially during times as these.”
Professor Andrew Thompson, UKRI International Champion, said: “Overcoming the many challenges created by COVID-19 will only be possible if all nations have a voice. UKRI is delighted to support the COVID-19 Africa Rapid Grant Fund. The Fund will help to ensure researchers from across Africa are empowered to investigate the local repercussions of and responses to COVID-19 and to find solutions to the threat the pandemic presents to lives as well as livelihoods. Their findings will not only be crucial for their individual countries, but to international efforts to overcome the pandemic too.”
This multinational fund is being supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Fonds de Recherche du Québec, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the Science Granting Councils Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa. UKRI’s contribution is through the Newton Fund.