IMF: Nigeria, others require $425bn to finance recovery through 2025

*Projects 3.4% growth for Sub-Saharan Africa in 2021

To mitigate the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa will need additional external funding of about $425 billion over the next five years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.
In its latest Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa released Thursday, the IMF said that although the region’s economy is projected to grow by 3.4 percent this year (recovering from the 1.9 percent contraction in 2020), it is forecast to lag the rest of the world due to limited access to COVID-19 vaccines.
According to the Fund, its near-term outlook for the region is, “subject to considerable uncertainty related to the course of the pandemic, access to vaccines, and the more challenging external financing environment.”
The IMF, which warned that that more than 32 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are being pushed into poverty by the economic impact of the pandemic and that per-capita output may not return to pre-pandemic levels until after 2022 or even 2025, estimates that some countries in the region- aiming to vaccinate 60per cent of their populations – will need to increase their health spending by 50per cent.
“If supply and distribution issues continue, most countries will struggle to reach herd immunity before the end of 2023, leaving them exposed to new, more virulent strains of the disease. For the international community, ensuring vaccine coverage for sub-Saharan Africa is not simply an issue of local livelihoods and local growth. Broad regional coverage is also a global public good,” the Bretton Woods institution said.
Apart from significant additional external concessional financing to support reforms in sub-Saharan Africa, the IMF said efforts should also be made in the region to boost economic growth, diversification and contain debt vulnerabilities.




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