• Sun. May 26th, 2024

IMF remains committed to supporting drought hit SSA countries

By Stephen Chandisareva

HARARE – In the wake of the severe impact of the El Nino induced drought that has devastated the southern Africa region, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says supporting the affected countries is still a top priority.
This comes as Zimbabwe is the latest southern African nation to declare the 2023/2024 summer cropping season a national disaster. The country will need “in excess of US$2 billion” in drought response.
Malawi, Zambia, have made similar announcements in the past three months.
“So, starting with Zimbabwe and the drought and the fact that it’s affecting several countries in Africa. I think it’s important to start by saying that we have seen, over the last several years and decades, an increased frequency of climate shocks globally,” Julie Kozak, Director of the Communications Department at IMF said at a press briefing.
The southern African country is increasingly vulnerable to severe drought events and other calamities, such as floods and tropical cyclones.
“And Africa has been particularly hard hit by these climate shocks, and we see this, of course, happening now with these droughts in Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia. The IMF remains committed to supporting Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries.
“These successive shocks, including climate shocks, have underscored the importance of the IMF’s role as an essential component to SSA’s safety net, particularly for countries with limited policy buffers,” Kozak said.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the IMF has provided almost US$58 billion worth of financing to SSA, most of it on highly concessional terms.
“And with respect to supporting countries build resilience to climate shocks, there are currently nine countries in SSA that have arrangements approved under our Resilience and Sustainability Facility,” Kozak added.
These countries include Benin, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, and Seychelles.
“And we have received many more requests for support under this instrument, and we will continue to work with countries.”
However, the development partners and donors are organising themselves for a broader response.

By ETimes

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