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IMF says Africa still needs $110bn to deal with the economic impact of COVID-19

South Sudan NEWS PORTAL (JUBA CITY)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says countries in Africa still need over $110 billion in 2020 alone to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

As of mid-June, the IMF had disbursed about $10.1 billion to 29 sub-Saharan African countries through its emergency facilities or augmentation of access under existing programmes.

The IMF has doubled access to its emergency lending facilities. Access limits to the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) have been doubled temporarily, from 50% to 100% of the country’s IMF yearly quota. This is to allow the IMF to meet its expected global financing demand of about US$100 billion.

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The Bretton Woods institution said despite the funds given to African countries “more international support is urgently required for sub-Saharan Africa to overcome the crisis and return to sustainable growth.”

“Countries across Africa still face financing needs amounting to over US$110 billion in 2020 alone, with US$44 billion yet to be financed. International and regional cooperation can help facilitate a coordinated relaxation of movement restrictions.”

“Upholding uniform health standards and virus testing and tracking methods should pave the way for reopening international travel and tourism.”

“It will be important to ensure that trade restrictions on essential medical supplies are removed, information on the pandemic is shared, and technical support to countries with limited health capacity, including through the World Health Organization, is scaled up.”

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“When a vaccine, drug, or treatment for COVID-19 are eventually developed, they should be made available to the poor countries as an international public good, as it has been pledged by China,” the IMF said.

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