The African Development Bank Group’s Covid-19 Rapid Response Facility (CRF)
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Africa is likely to be unprecedented in nature and scale. Based on the experience of other regions facing more advanced epidemics, Africa’s public health systems are expected to come under severe stress in dealing with the sharp rise in critical care needs. The preventive measures the World Health Organization (WHO) is urging African countries to implement are likely to impact heavily on trade and business, leading to many workers – particularly those in insecure and informal employment – being unable to pursue their livelihoods, and placing national social protection systems under great pressure. The economic effects of the global crisis will be felt through multiple channels, including reduced trade, financial flows, tourism and declining prices of oil, gas and other commodities. Many African countries — particularly those already dealing with high levels of debt – may face sharp increases in their fiscal and current account deficits, constraining their ability to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and manage its wider economic impacts.