African leaders gathered in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on Thursday to plead with the World Bank for new aid plans to finance their economic recovery and better access to vaccines against Covid-19.
The leaders are seeking $100 billion for a pivotal World Bank fund that provides assistance to the lowest-income nations, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pile up financing pressures on economies.
23 African leaders set the goal in a joint declaration after the summit according to the World Bank.
The bank in April had accelerated its process for a twentieth replenishment of International Development Association also known as the IDA after the fund provided massive assistance to help countries deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
IDA is one of the largest sources of funding for fighting extreme poverty in the world’s lowest income countries andAfrica is the continent with the most beneficiaries having 39 countries on the list.
“Much remains to be done to overcome this crisis which, as we are seeing these days, is global with several cycles. Indeed, less than 3% of the total population of Africa has received a first dose of vaccines compared to about 54% in the US and the EU.” Ivorian president Allassane Ouattara said.
Ouattara noted that this $100 billion “would be the largest amount raised in IDA’s history.” The previous was $82 billion.
Chairman of the AU Commission Moussa Faki, echoed the importance of debt restructuring. “We will never tire of calling for urgent debt restructuring accompanied by a bold policy that goes beyond special entitlements to alleviate the pressing need for immediate cash for vaccine purchases and to lay the foundations for economic recovery.” Faki said.
The world bank says as African countries grapple with the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, continued support, particularly from IDA, is critical to help them meet their financing needs,The bank aims to complete this round of recapitalization by December.