Sub-Saharan Africa to fall into its first recession in 25 years due to coronavirus, says World Bank

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Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to fall sharply in 2020 and the region will suffer its first recession in 25 years, according to a World Bank report published Thursday.

The bank estimates “Covid-19 will cost the region between $37 billion and $79 billion in output losses for 2020 thanks to a mixture of effects,” including trade disruption and reduced remittances, tourism and aid .

While most countries within the region will see a decline in growth, “real gross domestic product growth is projected to fall sharply particularly within the region’s three largest economies — Nigeria, Angola, and South Africa — as a results of persistently weak growth and investment,” the report said.

The bank also warned of a possible food security crisis in Africa as a results of disrupted agricultural production and food imports.

While several African countries swiftly implemented measures to curb the spread of the outbreak, the report identified “several factors that pose challenges to the containment and mitigation measures, especially the massive and densely populated urban informal settlements, poor access to safe water and sanitation facilities, and fragile health systems.”

“There is not any doubt there’ll be need for a few kind of debt relief from bilateral creditors to secure the resources urgently needed to fight Covid-19 and to assist manage or maintain macroeconomic stability within the region,” said Cesar Calderon, lead economist and lead author of the report, during a statement from the planet Bank.

The continent is already grappling with losses within the aviation sector following the spread of coronavirus. African airlines have lost up to $4.4 billion in revenue since the virus surfaced as multiple flights are canceled and international airports closed.

Source: CNN News

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