Today, the African Development Bank (AfDB)—Africa’s premier development finance institution—announced the unveiling of a USD 10 Bn COVID-19 Response Facility to help its regional member countries in fighting the pandemic.
The funds, which will be available to African governments and institutions, is split into three parts. USD 5.5 Bn of it will go to the sovereign operations of the AfDB countries.
USD 3.1 Bn will go into sovereign and regional operations for countries under the African Development Fund—AfDB’s concessional arm which caters to fragile countries.
An additional USD 1.35 Bn will be channeled to the operations of Africa’s private sector, which is now one of the middlemen in the continents fight against the outbreak.
The setting up of the Facility required a collective effort and courage by all our staff, Board of Directors and our shareholders, according to AfDB’s Acting Senior Vice-President, Swazi Tshabalala.
Recall that barely 2 weeks ago, the Bank launched a USD 3 Bn Social Bond to fight the global pandemic. AfDB then listed what was the world’s largest USD-denominated social bond ever on the international capital market on the London Stock Exchange.
While the continent’s COVID-19 cases spike, the AfDB’s Board of Directors, last week, gave the green light for USD 2 Mn to be granted to the World Health Organization (WHO) to support its efforts in Africa.
On the new USD 10 Bn COVID-19 Response Facility, Akinwumi Adesina, President of the AfDB, said the package took into account the fiscal challenges that many African countries are facing.
“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,” he said, commending the Board of Directors for its unwavering support.
Today, the African Union (AU) and the Africa Centers for Disease Control (Africa CDC) launched a public-private partnership with Afro Champions Initiative to realize the Africa COVID-19 Response Fund. The collaboration aims to raise USD 150 Mn for immediate needs to prevent the spread of the virus.