Sherillyn Raga and Bouba Housseini, October 2020
COVID-19 is taking its toll on Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). To date, there have been 1.2 million infections and about 30,000 deaths on the continent. The pandemic has widely repressed mobility, disrupted economic production, decreased investment and remittance flows, created massive unemployment and pushed more people into poverty. Meanwhile, many governments increased spending in response to the health and economic crises but, given pre-existing vulnerabilities and limited fiscal space, compounded by an annual COVID-19 financing gap of $100 billion, policy-makers have been grappling with not only mobilising funds but also allocating limited resources to measures that will create the most impact. Utilising the ODI COVID-19 tracker, this note explores the evolution of SSA policy responses from the onset of the pandemic to the present, as well as recovery issues for policy-makers and stakeholders moving forward.
Photo: Empty streets in Nairobi as a result of Covid-19. World Bank/ Sambrian Mbaabu. Licence: (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)