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AFRICA: $53 million African Development Bank grant for Covid-19 response in Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (https://www.AfDB.org/) approved on Friday, 24 July, in Abidjan, a multi-country grant of $53.25 million (38.15 million units of account) for The Gambia. Liberia and Sierra Leone to support their efforts to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

The African Development Fund (ADF) grant, the African Development Bank Group’s concessional rate lending window, provides direct budget support to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 in these three West African countries, known as “GLS,” (Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone).

This multi-country funding includes a UA 5 million ADF grant and a UA 5 million Transition Support Facility (TSF) grant to the Republic of The Gambia, Liberia will receive a UA 10.15 million ADF grant and Sierra Leone UA 18 million.

The Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone are countries in transition, facing similar challenges in terms of macroeconomic stability, fragility, competitiveness and growth. Liberia and Sierra Leone were severely affected by the Ebola outbreak between 2014 and 2016, while The Gambia is in a transitional phase following the departure of President Yahya Jammeh in 2016.

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As soon as the first cases of Covid-19 in the three countries were reported in March, they promptly took steps to put in place contingency plans to prevent and contain the spread of the virus. Despite this, cases of infection have increased. As of July 22, there were 146 confirmed cases in The Gambia, 1,144 in Liberia and 1,731 in Sierra Leone.

Direct beneficiaries of the grant-funded programmes will include households headed by vulnerable women, orphans and school children. The business community, particularly the most affected small and medium-sized businesses, will benefit from support for economic resilience, while the general population will be protected from the effects of the pandemic.

The Multi-Country Grant is part of the Covid-19 Rapid Response Facility (FRC), a US$10 billion financing mechanism put in place by the Bank to help its regional member countries and the private sector deal with the pandemic and its social and economic consequences.

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Distributed by APO Group for African Development Bank Group (AfDB).
Media Contact:
Amba Mpoke-Bigg
Department of Communication and External Relations
African Development Bank
E-mail: a.mpoke-bigg@afdb.org