The loan aims to protect the poor and vulnerable from the negative socio-economic effects of the pandemic.
FILE – A baby cries as his mother receives her Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, in Diepsloot township near Johannesburg on Thursday, October 21, 2021. A new variant of COVID-19 has been detected in South Africa which, according to scientists, is of concern because of its high mutation count and rapid spread among young people in Gauteng, the nation’s most populous province, Health Minister Joe Phaahla announced Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. (AP Photo/ Denis Farrell, File)
The World Bank has approved a $750 million loan to support South Africa’s Covid response and to support economic recovery from the pandemic, the Treasury announced on Friday.
In a statement, the Treasury said the loan aims to “protect the poor and vulnerable from the adverse socio-economic effects of the pandemic and support a resilient and sustainable economic recovery.”
South Africa is the continent’s second largest economy. The pandemic has claimed nearly 94,000 lives, out of 3.5 million cases, the highest toll in Africa.
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A series of lockdowns and health regulations have hampered the economy, pushing unemployment to a record high of 34.9% in the third quarter of last year.
Since the start of the pandemic, the World Bank has deployed more than $157 billion in more than 100 countries to try to mitigate the economic fallout.