Afrexim Establishes USD3 Billion Coronavirus Fund
Dennis Gitau  |  Mar 31, 2020

The African Export Import (Afrexim) Bank has set up a USD 3 billion (Kshs 319 billion) emergency fund, which Kenya is eligible to access. This fund is aimed at helping African countries cushion the impact the COVID-19 outbreak could have on their economies.

The fund, aptly named Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA), will be used in aiding the countries’ central banks and various other financial institutions to avoid defaulting on trade payments.

Member countries will also be able to use the fund to offer support to citizens and keep foreign exchange resources stable.

This is to help them to support emergency importing of essential materials.

These monies can be accessed by eligible African countries through channels such as lines of credit, cross-currency swaps, and direct funding, among others.

Afrexim President Dr Benedict Oramah recently said that the pandemic, in addition to being deadly to people, is estimated to cost the world economy as much as USD 1 trillion and even cause a 0.4% decline in the growth of global GDP.

The fund could also be quite useful in reducing the effect of the many risks that accompany this pandemic. Some of the hardest hit industries by the COVID19 pandemic include tourism, diaspora complications, and breakdown of supply chains from producers.