Africa | April 9, 2020

African Development Bank ratchets up COVID relief with $10 billion commitment

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, April 9 – The severity of the coronavirus crisis in emerging markets hasn’t yet reached the levels of China, the U.S. or Europe. But development finance institutions are dialing up their relief efforts in advance.

The African Development Bank has announced $10 billion in relief funding for the continent, of which $5.5 billion will be allocated for national efforts, $3.1 billion for the most vulnerable and low-income countries, and $1.4 billion for private sector initiatives.

Last week, the bank issued a record-breaking $3 billion social impact bond to raise capital for the relief. 

The number of recorded COVID cases is rising across Africa, and the number of actual cases is undoubtedly higher, given currently low rates of testing and high levels of urban density. In a sign of what’s to come, South Africa, sub-Saharan Africa’s fourth largest country, has the highest number of confirmed cases (1,845 as of April 8), in spite of its swift implementation of extreme lockdown. Most cases are concentrated in the three most densely populated states.

In anticipation of a spike in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Inter-American Development Bank is allocating $12 billion in COVID relief funds, including a $2 billion bond issuance.