South Africa receives R5 billion loan from African Development Bank
On Wednesday, South Africa secured a R5 billion ($288 million) loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to assist with the fight against coronavirus.
The loan approval is the second from a third party entity, following the $1 billion development loan approved by New Development Bank last month as assistance with financing the government’s R500 billion stimulus package.
The AfDB loan represents the bank’s first ever support to South Africa and is an attempt to boost the economy as it will be used to support formal and informal businesses and to ensure the preservation of employment. It will also provide aid with ensuring there is sufficient personal protective equipment and provide access to essential services.
South Africa, due to its economy is currently ranked as the most prepared African country to deal with a pandemic, according to a Global Health Security (GHS) Index. The country’s government faces challenges of underfunding for public healthcare. Private healthcare has sufficient resources, however most of the country’s population cannot afford it.
In a statement released by AfDB the bank said that the virus creates pressure on the control of TB and HIV/AIDS, “The COVID-19 outbreak is also likely to adversely affect the gains made in controlling other infectious diseases such as TB and HIV/AIDS. South Africa’s scaling up of mass testing has also put pressure on capacity at public sector laboratories, and concerns have been raised about the rising numbers of infections among health workers.”
South Africa is currently the most affected in Africa, and among the top five in the world, with 394,948 confirmed cases and 5,940 deaths.