South Africa secures R5 billion virus loan from African Development Bank

South Africa secured a loan of about R5 billion ($304 million) from the African Development Bank to assist with fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

The loan approved on Wednesday is the second from a multilateral lender after the country received a $1 billion emergency facility from the New Development Bank last month to help offset the damage caused by the virus and finance the government’s 500 billion-rand stimulus package.

The facility is the AfDB’s first budget-support program for Africa’s most-industrialized economy and will be used to help businesses in the country’s formal and informal economies, preserve jobs and promote access to essential services and personal protective equipment, the Abidjan-based lender said in an emailed statement.

The country has the highest number of confirmed infections on the continent, with 394,948 cases and 5,940 deaths, according to data from the Department of Health.

South Africa is counting on $7 billion from multilateral lenders and development finance institutions to support its response to the pandemic.

The International Monetary Fund will consider South Africa’s request for a $4.2 billion loan to support its fight against Covid-19 on July 27 and the country is in talks with the World Bank for up to $2 billion.

Read: The big challenge with South Africa’s coronavirus vaccine trial

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South Africa secures R5 billion virus loan from African Development Bank