AfDB unveils $10bn response facility to curb COVID-19 in Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has announced $10 billion COVID-19 Response Facility to assist regional member countries to fight the pandemic.

The bank’s Communication and External Relations Department made this known in a statement on Wednesday.

The bank noted that the facility was the latest measure taken by it to respond to the pandemic and would be the institution’s primary channel for its efforts to address the crisis.

The AfDB said the fund would be provided to governments and the private sector.

Mr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the Bank, was quoted as saying that the package took into account the fiscal challenges that many African countries were facing.

“Africa is facing enormous fiscal challenges to respond to the coronavirus pandemic effectively. The Bank is deploying its full weight of emergency response support to assist Africa at this critical time.

“We must protect lives. This facility will help African countries to fast-track their efforts to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19.

“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”.

He also commended the Board of Directors for its unwavering support.

The bank while giving the breakdown said the facility entailed $5.5 billion for sovereign operations in members countries, and $3.1 billion for sovereign and regional operations for countries under the African Development Fund, the Bank Group’s concessional arm that caters to fragile countries.

According to the bank, an additional $1.35 billion will be devoted to private sector operations.

The statement also quoted the Acting Senior Vice-President Swazi Tshabalala as saying “the establishment of the Facility requires our collective effort.”

In the last two weeks, the Bank inaugurated a record-breaking three billion dollars Fight COVID-19 Social Bond.

The Board of Directors also approved a two million dollars grant for the World Health Organization for its efforts on the continent.  (NAN)