The African Development Bank Group on Wednesday announced the creation of a US$10 billion COVID-19 response package to assist regional member countries in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
The bank, based in Abidjan, says this is the latest measure to support the pandemic response and will be the institution’s primary channel for those efforts. It provides funding to governments with $1.35 billion available to the private sector.
“Africa is facing enormous fiscal challenges to respond to the coronavirus pandemic effectively,” said Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB. “The African Development Bank Group is deploying its full weight of emergency response support to assist Africa at this critical time. We must protect lives.”
Two weeks ago, the AfDB launched a $3 billion Fight COVID-19 Social Bond, the world’s largest U.S. dollar-denominated social bond ever on the international capital market. Last week, the AfDB board also approved a $2 million grant for the World Health Organization for its efforts on the continent.
“These are extraordinary times, and we must take bold and decisive actions to save and protect millions of lives in Africa. We are in a race to save lives. No country will be left behind,” Adesina stressed.
The COVID-19 pandemic now is affecting 52 African nations, with some 10,789 confirmed cases on Wednesday, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 536 people have died.
The most affected nations remain South Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Cameroon. Other nations with significant numbers of confirmed cases include Côte d’Ivoire, with 349 cases.
Image: WHOAFRO files