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COVID-19

African Development Bank launches $10 bln COVID-19 response facility

African Development Bank launches $10 bln COVID-19 response facility
epa04762377 A general view of the headquarters of the African Development Bank offices in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 22 May 2015. The launch of the joint annual report on Africa's economic performance produced by the African Development Bank, the OECD Development Centre and the UN Development Programme is to take place in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on 25 May 2015. EPA/LEGNAN KOULA

JOHANNESBURG, April 8 (Reuters) - The African Development Bank (AfDB) launched a $10 billion COVID-19 response facility on Wednesday aimed at helping the continent confront the pandemic, which is already wreaking havoc on the region's economies.

In a statement, the Abidjan-based bank said the emergency credit facility includes $5.5 billion for sovereign operations in AfDB countries and $3.1 billion under the African Development Fund, the bank’s concessional arm, for fragile countries.

It will provide an additional $1.35 billion for private sector operations.

“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,” AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina said.

The AfDB joins other multilaterals from the International Monetary Fund to the World Bank in providing emergency funding to developing and low-income countries across the world which have been battered by the pandemic.

The bank sold a record $3 billion debt issue last month to raise financing to help combat the economic fallout from the disease.

(Reporting by Joe Bavier Additional reporting by Karin Strohecker in London; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Chizu Nomiyama)

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