The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a loan of TZS 117.57 Billion ($50.7 million) to Tanzania in order to finance the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The loan, from the African Development Bank Group’s COVID-19 Response Facility (CRF), will support the Government’s TZS 252.77 billion ($109 million) national COVID-19 response plan, which is jointly supported by the country’s other development partners. The plan is aimed at building economic resilience, while mitigating the socio-economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly on local businesses, vulnerable households, and the country’s health system.

The pandemic has put increased pressure on Tanzania’s health facilities, social protection systems and has dampened the country’s projected growth of over 6.2% – the average over the last five years, and which had made it the one of the best performers in Eastern Africa. Growth is now projected to decline from the pre-COVID projections of 6.4% to between 3.6% and 2.6%.

Commenting on the operation, Nnenna Nwabufo, the Acting Director-General of the Bank’s East Africa regional office, said it was part of a larger, more comprehensive support package for the Bank’s regional member countries, including Tanzania.

“The evolution of COVID-19 and changing containment measures remain dynamic and unpredictable; the medium and longer-term impacts of the crisis are yet to be fully understood. The African Development Bank Group is stepping up its coordination with governments, as well as with other development partners to adapt and strengthen its monitoring and response to the pandemic,” Nwabufo said.

Also the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in June this year approved a grant under its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) to cover Tanzania’s debt service falling due to the IMF from today to October 13, 2020, the equivalent of US$14.3 million.

In September 2020, The European Union Council President, Charles Michel when receiving diplomatic credentials for Tanzania’s Ambassador to Belgium, Ambassador Jestas Nyamanga, announced that the EU is ready to offer Tanzania 27 million Euros (about 70bn/) to support measures taken by the country to mitigate negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr. Michel applauded Tanzania for waging a successful war against the Covid-19 pandemic, which has killed over one million people globally and expressed the EU’s readiness to back up the country’s initiatives in the health sector.

He added that part of the money is intended to fund electricity and water infrastructures, hospitals, health centers, and dispensaries projects that the government currently undertakes in various places across the country.

He said procedures to release the fund were at final stages.

AfDB Funding EAC Countries

On May 22nd, 2020, The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank approved a €188 million loan to support the Government of Kenya’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate the related economic, health, and social impacts.

The loan was an additional resource to Kenya as the country was taking steps to contain the spread of the pandemic and deal with its unprecedented impact. The loan was requested by the Government of Kenya, as part of its COVID-19 Emergency Response intervention, to help contain the scourge.

Also on June 24th, 2020, The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund approved a $31.6 million COVID-19 Crisis Response Support Program (CRSP) to Uganda to support the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds were designed as budget support within the framework of the Bank Group’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Facility.

The African Development Bank also on 24th July 2020 approved a concessional loan of $97.675 million to Rwanda to strengthen its national budget as it works to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding took the form of an African Development Fund loan, which the Bank is providing under its COVID-19 Response Facility.

Back in April this year when the Continent of Africa was caught off-guard with the outbreak of the pandemic, the African Development Bank Group announced the creation of the COVID-19 Response Facility to assist regional member countries in fighting the pandemic.

This effort was taken by the Bank in order to respond to the pandemic, it has so far provided approximately $10 billion to governments and the private sector.

Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, said the package took into account the fiscal challenges that many African countries are facing.

“Africa is facing enormous fiscal challenges to respond to the coronavirus pandemic effectively. The African Development Bank Group is deploying its full weight of emergency response support to assist Africa at this critical time. We must protect lives. This Facility will help African countries to fast-track their efforts to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19,” Adesina said, commending the Board of Directors for its unwavering support.

The Facility entails $5.5 billion for sovereign operations in African Development Bank countries, and $3.1 billion for sovereign and regional operations for countries under the African Development Fund, the Bank Group’s concessional arm that caters to fragile countries. An additional $1.35 billion will be devoted to private sector operations.

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