By Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ
Congolese President, Felix Tshisekedi appointed the Archbishop of Kinshasa, head of the National Solidarity Fund against Covid-19 (FNSCC) on Wednesday.
Cardinal Ambongo’s appointment comes after Tshisekedi met with a delegation of religious leaders on Monday. The aim of that meeting was to discuss strategies to ensure coordinated efforts with religious leaders in the fight against the Covid-19 virus.
“By placing men of God in the management of the FNSCC,” said President Tshisekedi, “we expect that the 80 million Congolese will find satisfaction in the management of those who are supposed to preach by example.” The DRC President also referred to this appointment as a “question of guaranteeing transparency in management, traceability of assistance, and control of all donations.”
The DRC’s Covid-19 fund
The Congolese president created the FNSCC on 6 April as part of national efforts to fund the fight against the spread of the pandemic.
Its aim is to mobilize resources that will support various initiatives in the fight against coronavirus. In addition, it is charged with supporting enterprises and other structures affected by the economic, financial and social consequences of the pandemic.
Congo’s FNSCC will also provide financial support for the Covid-19 Multisector Response Committee to enable it to monitor and detect the disease by strengthening the capacity of the laboratory in the National Institute for Biomedical Research. Besides, it will finance the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the population and the health workers on the front lines throughout the country.
FNSCC is made up of a 12-person team comprising leaders and representatives of religious denominations in the country. It will operate for the duration of the emergency measures put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Democratic Republic of Congo currently has 394 confirmed coronavirus cases with 25 deaths and 48 recovered patients.