AfDB offers Nigeria, others $10bn facility

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The African Development Bank Group on Wednesday said it had created a COVID-19 response facility up to $10bn to assist regional member countries in fighting the pandemic.

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

A statement said it provided up to $10bn to governments and the private sector.

The President, African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina, said the package took into account the fiscal challenges that many African countries were facing.

He stated, “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 fasttrack their efforts to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19.”

Adesina commended the board of directors for its unwavering support.

The facility, according to AfDB, 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 bank group’s concessional arm that caters to fragile countries.

An additional $1.35bn would be devoted to private sector operations, it stated.

Commenting on the facility, the 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.”

The statement recalled that the bank recently launched a $3bn Fight COVID-19 Social Bond, the world’s largest US dollar-denominated social bond ever on the international capital market.

It added that recently, the board of directors also approved a $2m grant for the World Health Organisation 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.

Source: PUNCH.

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