The African Development Bank (AfDB) announced the approval of $500,000 in emergency assistance grant to Egypt to provide food relief and to contribute to restoring the livelihoods of vulnerable populations severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AfDB said that the extension of emergency assistance funding was based on the scale of the emergency caused by the pandemic which was clearly an urgent challenge the government was dealing with.
“The intervention will seek to complement ongoing activities by Egypt’s government to mitigate the effects of the virus pandemic on Egyptians. The emergency assistance will prioritize and contribute to critical interventions to ensure food security for all following the outbreak of the pandemic, which has left millions struggling to make ends meet,” a statement on the AfDB’s website said.
The Egyptian government has put in place an action plan for COVID-19 which is geared towards maintaining the gains made by the economy. It has also set aside 100 billion Egyptian pounds (about $6.6 billion) in a funding package to help fight the spread of COVID-19 and fund treatment.
Additionally, it has rolled out economic measures to cushion individuals and entities from the effects of COVID-19, including a one-time stipend for 3 months to select informal workers, funding for exporters and an easing of certain measures and procedures for small and medium enterprises.
Egypt is the second worst affected country in Africa after South Africa with a national total of 18,756 confirmed cases and 797 deaths.
The situation in the country appears to show no sign of easing off even as quarantine hospitals in the country operate at their capacity. On Tuesday, Egypt reported an eighth consecutive day of COVID-19 daily infections exceeding 700.
Despite this, the most populous Arab country has already begun gradually reopening services and offices that have been halted since mid-March, amid the government’s coexistence plan to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming services, businesses and economic activities.