"The funds will ensure that businesses across the continent have capital to sustain jobs and maintain vital imports," says the EIB in a statement released today.
In the document, the European Union financing institution said that “it allocates at least a quarter of the capital for mitigation and adaptation to climate change, helping Africa to maximize opportunities for a 'green' recovery”.
The support package is the first in an accelerated response to Covid-19 for the Sub-Saharan Africa region, under the EIB's “Team Europe” initiative.
The initiative, comprising a total package of 6,7 billion euros, aims to support the most vulnerable countries and those exposed to the pandemic, contributing to an immediate response to the health crisis and to mitigating social and economic impacts.
Funding for Sub-Saharan Africa is structured in two parts.
“The package redistributes 200 million euros of funds previously allocated to trade-related investments, targeting them specifically to sectors most impacted by the pandemic. In recognizing the urgent need for support, Afreximbank and the EIB are also injecting another 100 million euros into the package ”, adds the European Investment Bank.
The EIB underlines that this combination of funds, “coupled with Afreximbank's position on the ground, means that support can be activated immediately”.
"In addition, Afreximbank's deep knowledge and wide presence in African markets will ensure that capital reaches businesses and communities in all areas of the continent," reinforces the EIB.
Part of this investment will enable the transnational trade in medical equipment and materials needed to slow the spread of covid-19.
The EIB also highlights that “two key areas in Africa are women entrepreneurs and the 'Green Revolution'”, so that at least 25% of the funds allocated will go to 'green projects', including “renewable energy, energy efficiency and measures adaptation to climate change ”.
The president of Afreximbank, Benedict Oramah, considered that the financing announced today is well received "not only because it responds to urgent needs, but because it is allocated urgently".
"With the joint experience of Afreximbank and the EIB, support will quickly reach those most affected," he said.
The vice-president of the EIB, Ambroise Fayolle, pointed out that the European institution is “once again” strengthening cooperation with Afreximbank and that this joint financing “will unlock medical investment and ensure that investment for climate action and cutting energy use and emissions is not delayed ”.
In Africa, there are 21.050 confirmed deaths in more than 976 infected in 55 countries, according to the latest statistics on the continent's pandemic.
Among African countries that have Portuguese as their official language, Equatorial Guinea leads in number of cases and deaths (4.821 infected and 83 deaths), followed by Cape Verde (2.631 cases and 26 dead), Guinea-Bissau (2.032 cases and 27 dead), Mozambique (2.079 cases and 15 dead), Angola (1.344 infected and 59 dead) and São Tomé and Príncipe (878 cases and 15 dead).
The Covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 701 deaths and infected more than 18,5 million people in 196 countries and territories, according to a report by the French agency AFP.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, a city in central China.