COVID-19: AfDB forecast $88.3 billion drop in Africa’s GDP

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has projected that the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ravaging economies globally could cause Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to drop by between $22.1billion and $88.3billion.

According to the Bank, before the advent of COVID-19, West Africa was home to at least four of the continent’s fastest-growing economies, but has strongly felt the impact of the disease, as borders remain closed, and economic and social distress deepened.

The Bank said as of June 12, its COVID-19 emergency packages had reached the continent’s five geographic regions, noting that African countries, with the experience of Ebola control, are working to adapt to the new threat and looking to the Bank for an effective, multilateral response to the crisis.

Going by the data obtained from AfDB by The Guardian, the Bank has deployed over €1.3 billion and $49.7 million to 11 countries in the continent, plus the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

According to the data, €481.5 million and $22 million have been deployed so far by the Bank, to the West African region, to enable the governments to provide shortfall cash to the millions of people who have been affected by mass layoffs or are unable to work because of lockdowns.

About €288.5 million was deployed to Nigeria, €88 million to Senegal, €75 million to Côte d’Ivoire, €30 million to Cabo Verde, while $22 million was given to the ECOWAS community.

However, Gambia, Mali, and Niger, would benefit from the ECOWAS support package to strengthen their national health systems, while a large chunk of the funds would be channelled to addressing shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other emergency equipment.

Also, €624 million and $500,000 was deployed to North Africa, being the worst region to be hit by the pandemic with over 60,000 cases as at June 12, triggering a sharp drop in household incomes as export and tourism earnings suffer.

From the data, €264 million was deployed to Morocco, €180 million to Tunisia, and $500,000 to Egypt, to support national and regional coordination mechanisms.

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