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AfDB approves Egypt relief aid for COVID-19-related food insecurity

By Otiato Opali in Nairobi, Kenya | | Updated: 2020-05-28 19:12
The headquarters of the African Development Bank (AfDB) are pictured in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, Jan 30, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on Tuesday approved an emergency assistance grant of $500,000 to Egypt to provide food relief and to contribute to restoring the livelihoods of vulnerable populations severely affected by novel coronavirus.

According to the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention's latest figures, Egypt is Africa's second hardest-hit country after South Africa, with 19,666 confirmed cases and 816 deaths by Thursday. Despite Egypt's strong economic growth, the pandemic is expected to particularly hurt the informal sector, which provides livelihoods for the majority of the poor and vulnerable.

The intervention by AfDB will seek to complement ongoing activities by Egypt's government to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on Egyptians. The emergency assistance will prioritize and contribute to critical interventions to ensure food security for all following the pandemic's outbreak, which has left millions struggling to make ends meet.

Early last week, Egypt announced a coexistence plan to deal with the coronavirus pandemic over the coming period. The government highlighted the importance of abiding by precautionary measures while preparing to gradually resume normal life.

Authorities said the plan aims to reduce the number of infections and deaths, achieve a balance between maintaining a normal life and abiding by the precautionary measures, and avoid crowds resulting from services like transportation and shopping.

According to AfDB, the bank's extension of emergency assistance funding is based on the scale of the emergency triggered by the pandemic, which is clearly an urgent challenge the government is combatting.

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