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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response

Learn more about the WBG response in Africa

More than a year into the pandemic, slower spread of the coronavirus and lower COVID-19-related mortality, decisive actions by countries to save lives and livelihoods, and a faster-than expected recovery in commodity prices have contributed to improve economic prospects of many Sub-Saharan African (SSA) economies. Yet, the pandemic continues to take a toll on African lives and has pushed up to 40 million people into extreme poverty. Women, youth, low skill labor and those in the informal sector remain most affected by lack of access to social safety nets and income opportunities.

Many countries have seized the opportunity within the crisis to move faster on key reforms and investments that will be crucial for long-term development. The road to recovery will be long and vary significantly across economies and sub-regions. As part of the global response, the World Bank Group will deploy up to $160 billion in financial support to help more than 100 countries protect poor and vulnerable people, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery. This includes up to $50 billion for African countries.

In Africa, the World Bank’s response is focused around four main areas simultaneously: saving lives, protecting poor people, protecting and creating jobs, and building back better.

Last Updated: Apr 08, 2021

Beyond COVID: The Road to Recovery for Africa

Most African countries have thus far escaped the worst health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the economic fallout of the health crisis is pushing the region into its first recession in 25 years, and threatening to undo over a decade of development progress. Concerns of a second wave are fueling further uncertainty, but many African countries have seized the opportunity within the crisis to move faster on reforms and investments that will be crucial for a sustained recovery and long-term development.

Beyond COVID: The Road to Recovery for Africa


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In Depth

  • The World Bank
    Oct 06, 2021

    Africa’s Pulse

    Sub-Saharan Africa is set to emerge from the 2020 recession sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic with growth expected to expand by 3.3 percent in 2021, one percent higher than the April 2021 forecast.

  • The World Bank

    CPIA Africa

    Africa’s poorest countries saw little to no progress on average in improving the quality of their policy and institutional frameworks in 2018.

  • The World Bank

    IDA in Africa

    With IDA’s help, hundreds of millions of people have escaped poverty—through the creation of jobs, access to clean water, schools, roads, nutrition, electricity, and more.

  • Investing in Human Capital

    Africa’s Human Capital Plan

    Read the World Bank’s plan to support African countries to strengthen the quantity, efficiency and impact of investments in people.

Additional Resources

Regional Contacts

The World Bank
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
(202) 473-1000
For more information about the World Bank's work in Africa, please contact us.