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COVID-19: AFDB APPROVES $138M FOR MADAGASCAR, THREE OTHERS

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $138 million as 'COVID-19 crisis budget support package' to four southern African countries to support the fight against the pandemic.


The countries include Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


According to the AfDB in a tweet on its official handle, on Friday, July 24, the money approved on Wednesday, July 22, will help finance the national actions of the four countries in combating the impact of the pandemic.


“African Development Fund approves $138 million COVID-19 response support for Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe.


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The package will help finance the national actions of the four countries in mitigating the impact of the pandemic,” the tweet read.


“Under the package, known as the Multi-Country COVID-19 Response Support Program (MCRSP), Malawi will receive a concessional loan of UA17.87 million and a grant of UA15.03 million; Madagascar, a concessional loan of UA30 million; Mozambique, a combined grant of UA30 million; and São Tomé & Príncipe, a grant of UA7.5 million,” the AfDB explained in a blog post on its website.


The programme is financed through African Development Fund resources, the concessional window targeting low-income countries, and was made possible by the robust backing of Bank shareholders to its 15th replenishment, which came into effect this month.”


AFDB said that the package of policy measures in accordance with the Government include strengthening health systems to cope with the surge in hospitalisations and scaling up testing and tracing systems; expanding social protection systems to cushion its most vulnerable populations; and to provide cash relief to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs).


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“Special emphasis has been put in protecting food systems and supporting agriculture producers. Specific measures in each country reflect national response plans and the institutional and economic characteristics of each, and are underpinned by clear arrangements to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of resources,” it added.


Dr Josephine Ngure, Bank Acting Director-General for Southern Africa was quoted as saying on the AfDB’s website that “We are delighted with the approval of this crucial cash injection to support the COVID response plans in Madagascar.


“Mozambique, Malawi and Sao Tome. During this unprecedented challenge, it is essential that Governments in the region act in a coordinated manner to protect the most vulnerable in society and set the foundation for a speedy post-pandemic recovery.


“The Bank will continue to work with member countries to monitor epidemiological and economic trends and support the right policies”.


AFDB added that the proposed operation has been coordinated with key development partners in each country, including the United Nations, the European Union, the Department for International Development, the French Development Agency, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.


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