With support from the German Commission for UNESCO’s #SOSAfricanHeritage Fund, seven World Heritage sites from five Eastern African countries have received grants to help overcome impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on management and conservation.

The recipients include: Simien National Park in Ethiopia; Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests and Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest in Kenya; Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve and Bélo sur Mer Kirindy-Mite Biosphere Reserve in Madagascar; Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve in Seychelles; and Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania.

The #SOSAfricanHeritage Fund invited UNESCO World Heritage sites and UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Africa to submit proposals for financial support to overcome the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The German Commission for UNESCO received 72 applications requesting 1.6 million Euro in support by the deadline, and was able to grant funding to 22 projects for a total of more than 500,000 Euro to support resilience from the COVID-19 pandemic in the Africa region.

The short-term financial and technical support from #SOSAfricanHeritage aims to help maintain independent and sustainable organizational structures at these UNESCO-designated sites with the participation of civil society. The projects are also encouraged to ensure spaces dedicated to global citizenship education, sustainability and cultural diversity.

"I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the German Commission for UNESCO for this generous and timely support for the Africa region. With this targeted financial assistance, we are confident that beneficiaries will be empowered to strengthen the involvement of local stakeholders and enhance the resilience of World Heritage sites during the COVID-19 pandemic." Ms. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director and Representative, UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa.