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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response

Learn more about the WBG response in Africa

The full brunt of the pandemic has yet to be felt on the African continent. Even at this early stage, the COVID-19 crisis is taking a toll on African lives and economies, pushing the region into its first recession for 25 years. Recent estimates show that COVID-19 could push 40 to 60 million people globally into extreme poverty, 27 million of whom live in Sub-Saharan Africa. The immediate impacts are being felt the hardest in urban areas and in the informal sector, which employs around 80% of the population in low income countries.

The World Bank has taken fast action to help African countries strengthen their pandemic response and health care systems. Nearly a billion dollars for the immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been approved and are reaching 42 countries in the region.

Over the next 15 months, the World Bank Group will be providing up to $160 billion in financing, tailored to the health, economic and social shocks countries are facing. This includes $50 billion of new concessional financing from the International Development Association (IDA) to support the health response, protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and lay the ground for economic recovery with build-in debt relief for countries at risk of debt distress.

In Africa, the World Bank’s response is focused around three main areas: saving lives, protecting livelihoods and securing the future.



In Depth

Coronavirus Sparks Recession

The latest economic analysis for the region predicts the pandemic could cost as much as $79 billion in output losses for 2020.

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.

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.

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.
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