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African Development Bank provides coronavirus aid to the Sahel

The African Development Bank (AfDB) said Thursday it would provide $285 million in aid to Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad to help them fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The aid was being provided within the framework of a $10-billion COVID-19 response facility unveiled by the AfDB in April.

Niger would receive the support of $108.8 million, Burkina Faso $54.6 million, and Mali $48.9 million in both loans and grants, a statement said.

Chad would receive $61.2 million and Mauritania $10.2 million in the form of grants.

“The board of directors of the AfDB has approved budgetary support of $284.8 million to help the efforts of the Sahel countries — Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad — in implementing their response plans to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery,” the pan-African bank said.

The aid “is particularly important for the G5 Sahel countries which are already suffering from climate, humanitarian and security shocks,” said the bank’s director-general for West Africa, Marie-Laure Akin Olugbade.

With the exception of Mauritania, the Sahel countries have all been the target of deadly attacks by jihadist groups in recent years.

In addition, Mali is facing a deep political crisis.

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