- Afreximbank Creates $3bn Pandemic Facility to Help African Nations
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has established a $3 billion Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) to help African nations manage the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The facility approved by the bank’s board of directors on 20 March will assist the lender’s member countries to navigate the financial, economic and health shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the facility, Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, explained that the Coronavirus pandemic brought with it enormous hardship and economic disruptions from the supply chain to inventories and other supplies.
“Besides its worrying effect on human life, the pandemic is projected to cost the global economy up to $1 trillion and to result in a significant 0.4 per cent decline in global GDP growth, which is expected to drop from 2.9 per cent in 2019 to 2.5 per cent in 2020,” he said.
“A rapid and impactful financial response is required to avert a major crisis in Africa,” he said, pointing out that “Africa is exposed in many fronts, including significant declines in tourism earnings, migrant remittances, commodity prices and disruption of manufacturing supply chains.”
The president said the bank has already seen sharp pandemic-induced declines in global commodity prices, a sudden significant drop in tourism earnings, disruptions in supply chains, and closure of export manufacturing facilities.
Also, the effect on medical supplies and health systems in several countries has risen in recent weeks, highlighting the significance of support to those affected systems.
The lender, however, said it has put in place a plan to work with multilateral development banks that have financial assistance programmes to secure support to help affected African nations and ease the impact of the pandemic.
In 2015 the bank had introduced a similar economic crisis relief facility called Counter-Cyclical Trade Liquidity Facility. Afreximbank disbursed more than $10 billion to countries during the period to help key African economies manage their crisis and recover faster.