23 African leaders convened in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on Thursday to appeal to the World Bank for new aid measures to finance their economies’ recovery.
The leaders want $100 billion for a World Bank fund that “helps low-income countries”. They also seek improved access to COVID-19 pandemic vaccinations.
The World Bank has announced a 20th replenishment of the International Development Association IDA Fund. The fund is one of the largest funding sources for “fighting extreme poverty” in the world’s lowest-income countries.
Africa is the continent with the “most beneficiaries” having 39 countries on the list. In April, the bank accelerated its process for a twentieth replenishment after the fund provided massive assistance to help countries deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Attendees include the leaders of Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritania, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
“Much needs to be done to overcome this crisis, which, as we are witnessing these days, is global with many cycles,” said Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara.
“In Africa, less than 3 percent of the entire population has gotten the first dose of vaccinations, compared to about 54 percent in the United States and the European Union.” He added. According to Ouattara, this $100 billion would be the “largest sum raised in IDA’s history.” The previous was $82 billion.
Moussa Faki, Chairman of the African Union Commission, underlined the significance of debt restructuring. “We will never weary of pushing for rapid debt restructuring, followed by a bold policy that goes beyond special entitlements, to relieve the acute need for immediate funds for vaccine procurement and to build the groundwork for economic recovery.”