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The African Export-Import Bank, Afreximbank has announced the launch of a $1.5 billion collaborative COVID-19 Pandemic Response Facility (COPREFA), aimed at supporting African countries with finance to battle the economic impact of the pandemic.

The Bank announced this on Wednesday in a statement, as it stated that the funds would be made available to African Central Banks and Trade organizations and would also be used to finance equipment needed to deal with food security challenges.

COPREFA is designed to support African economies to overcome myriads of challenges including commodity price shocks, a significant drop in tourism and disruption to supply chains and export manufacturing.”

“It will also address the sudden declines in financial flows, including a drop-off in trade and project finance, migrant remittances, portfolio investment, and Foreign Direct Investments,” it stated.

The Bank announced that the support would be done through regular channels including direct funding, lines of credit, confirmation and refinancing of documentary credits.

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“Support will be available through direct funding, lines of credit, confirmation, and refinancing of documentary credits, guarantees, cross-currency swaps, and other similar instruments.

“The co-financed facility led by Afreximbank leverages strategic partnerships with other multilateral financial institutions and other international financial institutions in co-financing, risk-sharing of transactions and promoting integrated trade solutions to support African economies on navigating the impact of COVID-19.

In March 2020, a financial package called the Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) was launched solely by Afreximbank to support economies through the pandemic – a facility of which over five billion dollars has been disbursed will be implemented alongside COPREFA.”

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Afrexim President, Benedict Oramah, said the scheme will work with other schemes in Africa to help the continent battle the economic downturn.

“That is why we are supporting African economies forcefully at this time of great difficulties.

“COPREFA, a product of a unique international partnership, is a major contribution to the global fight against the pandemic and will work alongside our other programmes to ensure Africa’s future remains bright beyond this economic shock.”

What you should know 

Nairametrics reported in April that the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) announced the provision of a $10 billion COVID-19 Response Facility for Nigeria and other regional member countries to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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In September, the bank disbursed $200 million to Zenith Bank Plc Nigeria, in a bid to support critical imports under emergency conditions, and maintain foreign currency trade flows impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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