By Angeline Ngbele, Correspondent, Abuja
African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a €188 million euro loan to
the Republic of Mauritius to finance a national budget support programme to
respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group’s Board of Directors said Friday.
The main aim of the Covid-19 Rapid Response Facility (CRF), established by the Mauritian Government, is to support the national response fighting the ongoing outbreak, and to mitigate the adverse economic and social effects of the disease. The response is based on three pillars: to consolidate health systems; to protect livelihoods, income security and access to essential goods and services; and to build a resilient private sector as a prelude to the recovery of the economy.
Mauritius reported its first three cases of COVID-19 on 18 March 2020. On 6 April 2020, the number of locally-transmitted cases had reached 133 (54.5% of all reported cases), before reaching 332 cases by the end of April. The figure has not risen since then.
The CRF aims to bolster preparedness and support for vulnerable groups and the informal sector, while also funding social protection schemes, reducing job losses, and strengthening the resilience of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
While the most vulnerable will be the main beneficiaries of this programme, it will also cover workers in the informal sector, people facing layoffs as well as other vulnerable groups.