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Afreximbank creates $3 bln pandemic credit facility for Africa

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The African Export Import Bank is creating a $3 billion credit facility to help African countries overcome the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Afreximbank announced in a statement.

The Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility will help countries avoid trade payment defaults, support foreign exchange reserves and assist commodities exporters struggling with declining revenues, the statement, released late on Tuesday, said.

“Africa is exposed on many fronts, including significant declines in tourism earnings, migrant remittances, commodity prices and disruption of manufacturing supply chains,” said Benedict Oramah, president of the Cairo-based bank. “A rapid and impactful financial response is required to avert a major crisis in Africa.”

The pandemic is expected to strain Africa’s under-equipped health systems. Many African countries are already reeling from declining oil and commodities prices. And weakening local currencies are making it more expensive to service foreign currency-denominated debt.

(Reporting by Joe Bavier, editing by Larry King)

A man wearing protective face mask sits outside a bus station, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Dakar

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