The African Development Bank, AfDB, has approved an 88 million Euro loan (FCFA 57.1 billion) to help Cameroon finance her COVID-19 response strategies.
The loan, which falls under the framework of the AfDB’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility, CRF, of up to $10 billion, is expected to beef up Cameroon’s budget to counter the economic and social impact of COVID-19.
According to the AfDB, the budget support will help “… check the spread of the coronavirus, to save lives and to mitigate its adverse socio-economic effects on the Central African country, particularly on households and businesses.”
The loan is also aimed at supporting the implementation of a health response plan that will improve coronavirus testing, ensure early detection and rapid management of the virus, the AfDB says.
This will “… thus reduce case fatality and improving the recovery rate. It will also support the most vulnerable in society by paying family allowances to staff of companies unable to pay social security contributions as well as distributing health kits,” according to the AfDB.
The AfDB had earlier approved $13 million for a special emergency project to be carried out in the CEMAC sub region and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Although Cameroon’s economy is the largest and most resilient in the sub region, the AfDB says Cameroon’s coronavirus pandemic response has revealed structural weaknesses in the country’s health system and economy, especially in the human and financial resources allocated to the health sector.
By Wednesday, June 24, Cameroon had recorded 12,720 COVID-19 cases, with 313 deaths and 7,774 recoveries, according to the World Health Organisation’s classification.
AfDB’s Country Manager for Cameroon, Solomane Kone, emphasised the salience of women in the fight against the deadly virus.
“Women play a key role in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 as wives, mothers, caregivers and community resource persons. The social protection and economic resilience actions under this support will particularly target women and the households and businesses headed by them,” he said.