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Context Matters: No Matter How Much Good Press China’s Getting Over its COVID-19 Relief Efforts, the U.S. Far Outspends the Chinese in African Public Health

Popular Nigerian political commentator Onye Nkuzi (nom de plume) reminded his 155,000+ followers on Twitter that while China may be getting a lot of attention for its recent COVID-19 relief efforts, it’s the United States that remains the dominant public health donor in Africa, particularly with its HIV/AIDS program known as PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief).

Jack Ma’s recent donation notwithstanding, the Chinese government’s COVID-19 support in Africa generates a lot of news coverage, but has, to date, been piecemeal. It is also allocated in relatively small amounts – usually in the low millions. In contrast, the U.S. spent $6.78 billion just on PEPFAR last year with similar funding levels for that program expected this year as well.

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