UNICEF Senegal and Mastercard Foundation to partner on the pandemic response

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© UNICEF/Senegal/Kayouli/November 2020

An innovative partnership to build back better for children and young people in Senegal

DAKAR, 18 December 2020 – UNICEF and the Mastercard Foundation have joined forces to support the Senegalese Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to build back better for children and young people in Senegal. The USD$5 million partnership program will contribute to:

  1. An inclusive medical response to Covid-19 through the procurement of medical equipment and training of health staff to support access to life-saving services. This includes equipment for COVID-19 case management such as respirators, ventilators and oxygen concentrators, along with protective personnel equipment to keep health workers and patients safe.

  2. Infection prevention and control (IPC) and youth participation through support for health workers, hygiene personnel and young volunteers to prevent and control COVID-19 transmission by ensuring epidemic preparedness measures are in place, and capacity exists to rapidly implement control measures. Relatedly, young people in Senegal will be supported to produce and distribute handwashing stations as a first-line measure of infection prevention and control.

  3. Distance education including e-learning solutions through primarily technical support to the Ministry of Education for the development of a national e-learning strategy, as well as on the deployment of a national radio-based learning programme to ensure continuity of learning and extend opportunities to all learners affected by school closures.

UNICEF Representative in Senegal, Silvia Danailov said, “COVID-19 has an impact on the wellbeing of children, their health, education and protection. Some 3,5 million children and adolescents in the country have been affected by school closures, which have disproportionately affected girls and exacerbated gender inequalities. To minimize the long-term impact on the most vulnerable children, a multisectoral response is required”.

She continued “ This partnership between UNICEF and the Mastercard Foundation will enable us to support Government’s efforts not only to support the prevention and medical response to COVID-19, but also to ensure innovative and emerging e-learning solutions in the short run whilst strengthening the education system in the long run to ensure that every child access quality learning”.

“Tremendous work has been done to address the pandemic and its effects in Senegal. The Foundation is committed to working collaboratively across sectors to build on the momentum to contain the disease, mitigate its effects on children and young people, and lay the foundation for a stronger and more inclusive future, ” said Diaka Diallo Sall, Acting Country Head, Senegal, at the Mastercard Foundation.

About the Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit:

About the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program

The Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program has two main goals. First to deliver emergency support for health workers, first responders and students. Second, to strengthen the diverse institutions that are the first line of defense against the social and economic aftermath of this disease. These include universities, financial services providers, businesses, technology start-ups, incubators, government agencies, youth organizations, and non-governmental organizations.

For more on the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, please visit

Follow the Foundation on Twitter at @MastercardFdn.

For more information or for interview requests please contact:

Kweku Ahiagble, Lead, Program Communications, Mastercard Foundation:

Media contacts

Moussa Diop Communication Specialist UNICEF Senegal
Tel: +221 77 644 33 22

Emna Kayouli Partnerships Specialist UNICEF Senegal
Tel: +221 77 637 0248