The Bonteheuwel Development Forum (BHDF) in Cape Town is leading a gardening campaign to ensure food security for the local community under the tough conditions of the COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

Chairperson Henrietta Abrahams says they have started a number of community gardens which will supply feeding schemes in the area with vegetables.

She says they have approached schools, churches, mosques and private individuals for land to plant vegetables.

Abrahams says they are looking after the needy, the poor and those struggling because of unemployment…

“COVID-19 has shown up poverty in a large way. As communities we have been doing a lot of work for our people. Government, business and civil society organisations haven’t been coming to the party, the communities themselves have been providing for the needy and poor to put that safety net there…”

In the post below, Bonteheuwel Development Forum (BHDF) launches gardening program: 

The Bonteheuwel Development Forum in Cape Town is leading a gardening campaign to ensure food security for the local…

Posted by SABC News Western Cape on Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Meanwhile, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a loan of approximately R5 billion ($288 million) to the government of South Africa, as the country battles one of the largest COVID-19 caseloads in the world.

South Africa confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 5 March 2020 and is currently the most affected in Africa, and among the top five in the world in terms of confirmed cases (381 798 as at 22 July, with 5 368 deaths).

The loan falls under the Bank’s $10 billion COVID-19 Response Facility and will finance South Africa’s COVID-19 Response Support Program, and represents the Bank’s first ever budget support to the country.

The operation is designed as a Crisis Response Budget Support Operation prepared following a request from the government of South Africa.

The purpose of the program is to: (i) protect lives and promote access to essential equipment to prevent infection, such as protective personal equipment, sanitizers and gloves (ii) protect livelihoods by preserving jobs, incomes, food security and access to essential public services (iii) protect firms by supporting enterprises in the formal and informal economy to withstand the impacts of COVID-19 and prepare for economic recovery.

South Africa’s ability to respond to the pandemic has implications for neighbouring countries as well as the continent as a whole, given its position as Africa’s second-largest economy after Nigeria.

In order to ensure a complementary intervention, the African Development Bank operation was designed in collaboration with other partners, including the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the New Development Bank.

South Africa is ranked as the most prepared African country to deal with a pandemic, according to a Global Health Security (GHS) Index. Yet significant challenges remain in the public health sector, including underfunding and human resource shortages. While the private health sector is better equipped, it remains unaffordable to the majority of South Africans.

In the tweet below, AfDB approves R5-billion loan to SA government to help fight COVID-19: