THE African Development Fund (ADF) has approved a loan amounting to 50.7 million US dollars (about 117bn/-) to Tanzania, to finance the nation's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A statement issued by ADF stated that the loan, from the African Development Bank Group's Covid-19 Response Facility (CRF), will support the country's 109 million US dollars national Covid-19 response plan, which is jointly supported by other government's development partners.
The plan is aimed at building economic resilience, while mitigating the socio-economic and health impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly on local businesses, vulnerable households, and the country's health system.
The global pandemic has put increased pressure on Tanzania's health facilities, social protection systems and has dampened the country's projected growth of over 6.2 per cent - the average over the last five years, which has made it one of the best performers in Africa.
Tanzania's economic growth is now projected to decline from the pre-Covid projections of 6.4 per cent to between 3.6 and 2.6 per cent.
Commenting on the operation, the Acting Director-General of the Bank's East Africa regional office, Nnenna Nwabufo, said it was part of a larger, more comprehensive support package for the bank's regional member countries, including Tanzania.
"The evolution of Covid-19 and changing containment measures remain dynamic and unpredictable; the medium and longer-term impacts of the crisis are yet to be fully understood, Nwabufo said.
"The African Development Bank Group is stepping up its coordination with governments, as well as with other development partners to adapt and strengthen its monitoring and response to the pandemic," Nwabufo added.
ADF is the concessional window of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group.
Established in 1972, it became operational in 1974. Administered by the African Development Bank, it comprises, to date, 32 contributing countries and benefits 38 countries.
The 38 ADF-eligible countries include those that are increasing their economic capacities and heading toward becoming the new emerging markets-as well as those that remain fragile and need special assistance for basic levels of service delivery.
In June 2020 the US government committed 3.6 million US dollars equivalent to 7.8bn/- to supporting Tanzania's efforts in the fight against Covid-19. It also redirected 1.9 million US dollars equivalent to 4.4bn/- from USAID activities to help the country respond to the outbreak.
Chief Government Communication Officer in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Ben Mwaipaja, said the government was pleased to secure the fund.
"We are happy that the Fund's board has approved the loan and we promise to spend the money according to the agreed terms," Mr Mwaipaja said when reached for comment.