Washington (UNA-OIC) – Director-General of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday that African countries need $1.2 trillion in financing through 2023 to overcome the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing that the funding shortfall currently stands at $345 billion.
In a virtual meeting devoted to “Mobilization for Africa”, Ms. Georgieva said that the region is currently facing a financing gap because the obligations of official lenders bilaterally and international institutions cover less than a quarter of the expected needs while private capital is still limited.
The Washington-based international financial institution had estimated the funding shortfall at $44 billion for 2020 alone, and 43 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty on the continent, wiping out five years of progress in poverty reduction.
The IMF chief stated that all countries and institutions must mobilize more to help Africa deal with the crisis, adding that the pandemic cannot be stopped if it is not controlled in regions such as Africa.
“The pandemic will not be over anywhere until it is over everywhere,” Georgieva said. “All of us, countries and institutions, must do more to support Africa to cope with the next phase of this crisis.”
The IMF has significantly increased its financial assistance to the continent, providing about $26 billion to more than 40 countries this year, while the World Bank has provided around $21.9 billion in loans.
African countries have more than a million cases of COVID-19 with 23,000 deaths, according to the IMF.