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African Development Bank provides coronavirus aid to the Sahel

African Development Bank 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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