IMF: Africa ‘needs $1.2tn’ to recover coronavirus losses

Africa 'needs $1.2tn' to recover coronavirus losses
Africa has not been too badly hit in health terms, but the economy has suffered. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the economic damage as well as the health costs caused by coronavirus has left Africa needing $1.2tn (£920bn) over the next three years.

Kristalina Georgieva, IMF chief, said the world “must do more to support Africa to [recover]… from this crisis”.

Africa has had fewer Covid deaths and infections than most other continents.

But the World Bank says, as a result of the pandemic, 43 million more Africans are at risk of extreme poverty .

The economic impact is reversing the trend in recent years of strong growth in Africa, as family incomes have been reduced by 12% and jobs have been lost, Ms Georgieva told a virtual IMF meeting.

To help soften the blow, many governments in Africa have introduced mitigation policies which have cost 2.5% of GDP, she added.

The IMF has given African countries about $26bn to cushion the impact of the pandemic but even with the help of private lenders and other countries’ assistance there is still a huge shortfall in funding.

The IMF chief said: “Some countries are confronting high debt burdens forcing them to choose between debt service and additional social and health spending.”

As a means to help, Kristalina Georgieva called for an extension of the moratorium by the G20 of debt repayments and wanted more funds to be available to lend.

There have been nearly 37,000 people have died in Africa and more than 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases.

The coronavirus pandemic in Africa is less lethal compared to rest of the world. There are some reasons behind it. One is quick action. The first coronavirus case on the continent was confirmed in Egypt on 14 February. Right from the beginning, most African governments took drastic measures to try and curb the spread of the virus.

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