African Development Bank today approved a Sh 22 billion (€188 million) loan to support the Government of Kenya’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate the related economic, health and social impacts.
The loan will extend additional resources to Kenya as the country takes steps to contain the spread of the pandemic and deal with its unprecedented impact.
Government of Kenya had requested a debt facility with the continental financier, as part of its COVID-19 Emergency Response intervention, to help contain the scourge.
The Bank’s support is expected to strengthen the national health system to effectively respond to the pandemic, build economic resilience and ensure quick recovery.
The lender’s intervention will also be used to support the poor and vulnerable people who have been negatively affected by the pandemic.
“We are very pleased to join other development partners in supporting the Government of Kenya’s efforts in mitigating the financial impact of the pandemic, especially in terms of the country’s expenditure in the health, social and economic sectors. The next step will focus on helping build resilience for post COVID-19,” said the Bank’s Acting Director General for East Africa, Nnenna Nwabufo.
Since Kenya’s first COVID-19 infection was confirmed on 12 March 2020, cases have risen to over 1,000, while the number of recoveries and deaths are 375 and 50, respectively, as of 22 May 2020. The pandemic is placing significant pressure on an already stretched healthcare system.
It has disrupted supply chains and caused job losses in the tourism, hospitality, horticulture and airline industries, among others.
In addition, informal and self-employed workers have also lost their livelihoods due to the impact of the pandemic.