The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has launched a 1.5 billion-dollar collaborative COVID-19 Pandemic Response Facility (COPREFA) to support African economies with rapid financial assistance to reduce the impact of COVID-19.
The collaborators are the pan-African multilateral EXIM bank, International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), the Trade Finance Arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA).
Afreximbank and its collaborators in Cairo, Egypt made this known in a joint statement saying the COPREFA would be accessed by eligible central banks, commercial banks and businesses to finance the import of medical supplies.
It said it would also be used to finance agricultural equipment and fertilisers, essential for addressing the pressing food production deficit.
“COPREFA is designed to support African economies to overcome myriads of challenges including commodity price shocks, a significant drop in tourism and disruption to supply chains and export manufacturing.
“It will also address the sudden declines in financial flows, including a drop-off in trade and project finance, migrant remittances, portfolio investment and Foreign Direct Investments.”
The bank said that a key attribute of the COPREFA facility was the speed at which financial assistance could be provided through all partners involved.
It said that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic had proven to be fast-paced, requiring support that could be deployed quickly and flexibly to prevent sharp declines in national economies.
Afreximbank said that standard eligibility criteria and credit appraisal process had been developed by COPREFA partners to facilitate implementation of the facility.
“Support will be available through direct funding, lines of credit, confirmation and refinancing of documentary credits; guarantees, cross-currency swaps and other similar instruments, it said.
“The co-financed facility led by Afreximbank leverages strategic partnerships with other Multilateral Financial Institutions and other international financial institutions in co-financing, risk sharing of transactions and promoting integrated trade solutions to support African economies on navigating the impact of COVID-19.”