As part of new measures to tackle the raging Coronavirus (COVID-9) pandemic headlong, the African Development Bank Group, on Wednesday, said it had created a response facility to assist regional member countries overcome a crisis that has continued to threaten the global economy.
The Facility, which will be the group’s primary channel for addressing the crisis and provides up to $10bn for governments and the private sector players, according to Akinwumi Adesina, its President took into account the fiscal challenges facing many African countries.
Commending the board for its unwavering support, Adesina said “Africa is facing enormous fiscal challenges to respond to the coronavirus pandemic effectively. 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. This Facility will help African countries to fast-track their efforts to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19.”
The facility, according to a statement by the group, entails $5.5bn for sovereign operations in African Development Bank countries, and $3.1bn for sovereign and regional operations for countries under the African Development Fund, the group’s concessional arm that caters to fragile countries. An additional $1.35bn will be devoted to private sector operations.
Commenting on the Facility, Acting Senior Vice-President Swazi Tshabalala said: “The setting up of the Facility required a collective effort and courage by all our staff, Board of Directors and our shareholders.”
Two weeks ago, the bank launched a record-breaking $3 billion Fight COVID-19 Social Bond, the world’s largest US dollar-denominated social bond ever on the international capital market. Last week, the Board of Directors 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 said.