“We are in a race to save lives. No country will be left behind,” said Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), this Wednesday when was announced the creation of the COVID-19 Response Facility.
AfDB will provide up to US$10 billion to governments and the private sector. This is the latest measure taken by the Bank to respond to the pandemic and will be the institution’s primary channel to address the crisis.
“We must protect lives”
US$5.5 billion will be addressed for sovereign operations in African Development Bank countries and US$ 3.1 billion for sovereign and regional operations for countries under the African Development Fund, that caters to fragile countries. Other $1.35 billion will be devoted to private sector operations.
“We must protect lives. This Facility will help African countries to fast-track their efforts to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19,” said Adesina. He also said the package took into account the fiscal challenges that many African countries are facing.
This is the third measure announced by AfDB in recent weeks. Two weeks ago, the bank launched a US$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.