$44 billion still needed to fill a hole in pandemic needs in Africa

The end of this week saw head of African countries, the IMF and the World Bank calling for swift international action to timely address the African continent needs to fight the current pandemic.

“This pandemic has already had a devastating impact on Africa and its effects will deepen as the rate of infection rises. It is a setback for the progress we have made to eradicate poverty, inequality and underdevelopment,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the chair of the African Union.

“Large financing gaps remain and greater support is needed to ensure that African countries are able to respond effectively to the health crisis and address economic challenges,” he further highlighted in a joint statement by the IMF and World Bank.

World Bank Group President David Malpass said the Bank had already provided emergency support to 30 countries across Africa, with more to come, and it would continue to advocate for debt relief and alleviate economic challenges by providing resources.

“No one can stand on the sidelines; we cannot leave any country behind in our response,” he said. Of 160 billion U.S. dollars in emergency funding the World Bank expects to provide over the next 15 months, 55 billion U.S. dollars would go to Africa, he pointed out.

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