THE African Development Bank has announced the creation of COVID-19 Response Facility of up to $10bn for governments and the private sector to assist member states fight the coronavirus disease.
From the facility, Nigeria seeks $1bn to contain the spread of the pandemic.
The bank stated from its headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, that the facility was the latest measure to respond to the scourge and the institution’s primary channel for its efforts to address the crisis.
AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, said the package took into account the fiscal challenges many African countries were facing.
His words: “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 response entails $5.5bn for sovereign operations in AfDB countries, and $3.1bn for sovereign and regional operations for countries under the African Development Fund, the group’s concessional arm that caters for fragile countries. An additional $1.35bn will be devoted to private sector operations.
However, the World Health Organisation Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said COVID-19 cases had hit 10,000 and accounted for 500 deaths on the continent.
In a statement on Wednesday in Maiduguri, Borno State, she noted that cases were initially confined to global capital cities, noting that a significant number of countries in Africa were now reporting incidents in multiple provinces.