COVID-19
Managing Budgetary Pressures in Africa

Public Finance Response Monitor

The COVID-19 Africa Public Finance Response Monitor provides an overview of expected financing gaps posed by COVID-19 and how African governments are responding to these through expenditure reprioritisation, efficiency gains, resource mobilisation, social assistance, business support, and monetary and macrofinancial policy measures.

The COVID-19 Africa Public Finance Response Monitor also provides information on health financing in Africa (as a proxy of pandemic preparedness) and up-to-date statistics of confirmed COVID-19 cases, tests and deaths. The COVID-19 Africa Public Finance Response Monitor includes a subset of actions taken by governments and does not aim to provide a full picture of the quantitative measures undertaken. Confirmed cases, tests and deaths will be updated daily and response measures will be updated monthly. The Public Finance Response Monitor was last updated on 21 December 2020.

Find out more about the Monitor by downloading the Public Finance Response Monitor concept note below.

Algeria

Tests p/million
77
Confirmed cases
113430 Source
Confirmed deaths
2991 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
21 May: A comprehensive response plan of 70 billion Dinars (USD 543 million or 0.3% of GDP) to mitigate the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. This includes 3.7 billion Dinars for medical supplies, 16.5 billion for bonus payments to health workers, and 8.9 billion for the health sector’s development. For the economic impact, the law includes 20 billion for allowances to the unemployed because of COVID, and 11.5 billion for transfers to poor households.
Official COVID-19 links
http://covid19.sante.gov.dz/

http://www.premier-ministre.gov.dz/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
676
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
11%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
31%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
11%

Domestic and external financing
The IMF and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development have contributed USD 100 million and USD 32 million (0.06% and 0.02% of GDP) towards COVID-19 medical equipment and drugs, respectively.

The President of the Republic ordered the consecration of an amount of USD 100 million (0.06% of GDP) to accelerate the import of pharmaceutical products.

26 May: Algerian president unwilling to take on an IMF loan; fears of long-term repercussions.

29 June: Announced economic stimulus of USD 323 million (which translates to 1.9% of GDP).
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On 15 March, Bank of Algeria lowered the reserve requirement ratio from 10% to 8%, and its main policy rate by 25 basis points to 3.25%.

On 6 April, the Bank of Algeria announced that it was easing solvency, liquidity and NPLs ratios for banks.

On April 30, the Bank of Algeria announced that it was cutting its main policy rate from 3.25 to 3.00 %, that it was lowering its reserve requirement ratio from 8 % to 6 %, and that it was lowering haircuts on government securities used in refinancing operations.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
30 April: Within the framework of national measures and efforts aimed at preventing and fight against the spread of COVID19, the General Directorate of Customs has established a permanent national unit for prevention, monitoring and combating this virus at the level of the services of customs.

30 April: Contractual deadlines have been relaxed for those rendering services to the public sector. Penalties for companies that experience delays in completing public contracts have also been suspended.

20 May: Notable changes to the 51/49 rule regarding local versus international financing. There are now no restrictions with the exception of a few industries. Further, the removal of the obligation for local financing is hoped to set the economy up to a major influx in foreign investment.

4 June: Supplementary budget law was enacted.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 April: Authorities banned exports of several products, including food, medical and hygiene items.

On 3 May, at a meeting of the Council of Ministers, the Minister of Trade made a presentation on the digital system for the supervision and monitoring of the market supply of food and agricultural products in the context of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. This system aims to create a database to identify all the actors involved in the production and distribution of mass consumption products, determine production capacities and organise the distribution perimeter, and ensure periodic monitoring of storage levels at the national level for the public and private sectors.

5 November: The Algerian government has reduced tariffs on medical supply imports as a means to improve imports of these items during the pandemic.

1 January: Algeria announced in late December that it had reached an agreement to obtain 500,000 doses of the Russian vaccine.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
End-March: In response to the oil price shock and COVID-19 pandemic, the government will lower recurrent spending by 30%, while keeping wages intact and protecting health and education spending. On 3 May, the Government stated that, instead of the original 30%, it would lower recurrent spending by 50%.

End-March: The authorities announced several measures to cut the import bill by at least USD 10 billion (6% of GDP).

On 18 May, the Minister of Finance presented the Supplementary Finance Bill (PLFC) for 2020 before the Finance and Budget Committee of the National People's Congress (APN). The PLFC 2020 provides for the reduction of budgetary expenditure by 5.7% (representing 2.2% of 2019 GDP) from the initial Finance Law (LF). A first cut of 141 billion dinars was agreed in the operating budget of the State within the framework of the bill of Finances 2020 (PLFC 2020). The budget deficit should reach 10.4% of GDP against 7.2% of GDP in the initial LF.

21 May: The Draft supplementary finance law (SFL) provides 21.2 billion dinars (USD 164 401 705) for the health sector, including medical supplies, bonus payments for health workers, and health sector development. SFL provides 31.5 billion dinars as an economic response, which includes unemployment allowances and transfers to poor households.

4 June: The enacted supplementary finance law (SFL) includes provisions amounting to 70 billion dinars to mitigate the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. This includes 3.7billion for the health sector to acquire medical supplies, 16.5 billion for bonus payments to health workers, and 8.9 billion for the health sector’s development. Available in French: https://www.joradp.dz/HFR/Index.htm
Transparency, accountability and participation

Business support and tax measures
End-March: Declaration and payments of taxes for small and medium enterprises have been postponed.

19 May: The Algerian Tax Authority has announced the following measures (i) extended the deadlines for monthly tax returns; (ii) extended the payment deadline for the first 2020 prepayment; (iii) for taxpayers under the special lump sum tax regime, the tax authority extended the income tax return for the first quarter of 2020.

On 31 May, Algeria’s parliament passed legislation allowing foreign investors to take majority stakes in projects in “non-strategic sectors” as the country seeks to diversify its economy away from oil and gas in the wake of the economic downturn exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak.

On 26 July, The Council of Ministers was held, where Recovery and Development programmes were introduced for certain economic secors. Allocations of financial aid for small trades, to the value of 30,000 Dinars (or USD 233), for a period of 3 month. This is provided on the basis of a rigorous evaluation of each corporation during the last 4 months. This measure should be ratified by an executive decree to be issued before the end of the month.
Financing social assistance and food relief
End-March: Declaration and payments of income taxes for individuals have been postponed.

End-March: To avoid crowding in post offices, beneficiaries (1 Million) can receive Solidarity Allowance benefits at any time without a specific deadline.

End-March: An in-kind distribution campaign of food and hygiene items to the most vulnerable families was started. This included those living in isolated areas and impacted by the lockdown.

End-March: To reduce exposure for elderlies, a proxy letter can be delivered to another person to receive pensions/benefits in place of the beneficiary.

30 April: Ramadan allowance given to poor households has been increased from USD 47 (6 000) to USD 78 (10 000) dinars.

2 May: Despite the huge reduction in the budget, the government agreed to increase the minimum wage from USD 140 (18 000 dinars) per month to USD 156 (20 000 dinars) while income tax will be abolished for those earning USD 234 (30 000 dinars) or less.

3 May: At the meeting of the Council of Ministers, there was discussion on reviving the National Agency for Support to the Employment of Young People (ANSEJ) through the "Restart Algeria" programme. This programme is a national development plan which will be the engine of global economic development and will provide a more legible picture of the situation of projects subsidised by the ANSEJ scheme, from its creation until the end of the year in courses, numbering 400 000 projects for an amount of approximately USD 2.6 Billion (334 billion Dinars).

21 May: From May to July 2020, the World Food Programme Algeria is increasing the number of beneficiaries receiving general food assistance from 133 672 to 152 786 to include those refugees who had been identified as least vulnerable to food insecurity in WFP’s last assessment. These refugees are likely to suffer from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses and those that are self-employed.

21 May: In response to the economic impact on household and enterprises of the lockdown measures, the authorities also announced that: (i) the declaration and payments of income taxes for individuals and enterprises have been postponed , except for large enterprises; and (ii) contractual deadlines would be relaxed and penalties for companies that experience delays in completing public contracts would be suspended.USD 11.5 billion (or 6.6% of GDP) in transfers to poor households as part of the economic response provisioned in the supplementary financial law.

30 September : Authorities have taken measures to alleviate the economic impact of COVID-19 on households, including (i) temporary suspension of payments of electricity and water bills, (ii) Replenishment of the national food distribution program (Office National de Sécurité Alimentaire, ONASA) , (iii) payment of all death benefits due to deceased civil and military agents, indemnities and ancillary wages owed to retirees and payment of medical expenses for civilian agents and defense and security forces.

Primary sources
Algerian Prime Minister's Portal
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African Health Stats
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COVID 2019- Ministry of Health Algeria
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IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
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Modern Diplomacy
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Africa News
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John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
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Bank of Algeria

World Bank Social Protection and Job Responses to COVID-19

Angola

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
20882 Source
Confirmed deaths
510 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
Official COVID-19 links
http://www.minsa.gov.ao/

http://www.governo.gov.ao/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
82
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
5,43%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
35%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
5,43%

Domestic and external financing
The Angolan sovereign wealth fund has agreed to offer USD 1.5 billion (1.42% of GDP) on condition of future repayments.

5 May: The UN has offered a grant of USD 12.5 Million (or, 0.01% of GDP) to Angola in order to assist with Covid-19 relief

12 May: The United States government has pledged USD 3.5 million (less than 0.1% of GDP) in support of Angola's Covid-19 response effort.

29 May: The EU has provided the Angolan authorities with a package of 10 million Euros (0.01% of GDP) to assist in Angola's Covid-19 response efforts.

22 June: UNICEF is expected to fund part of the Angolan Covid-19 response plan with USD 7.1 million (less than 0.01% of GDP).

8 September: Angola is participating in the World Bank's Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space created by this DSSI amounts to USD 2.65 billion, or approximately 3.1% of GDP in Angola. On November 10, the amount of debt suspension was amended downwards to 2% of GDP or USD 1.8 billion.

16 September: The IMF has provided Angola with concessional funding to the effect of USD 766 million (0.4% of GDP). This is roughly 76% of the total USD 1 billion offered by the IMF to Angola under the current funding framework.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
Issuance of Eurobond of USD 3 billion has been postponed due to unfavourable market conditions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Government has asked the National Bank of Angola to increase the rollover rate in domestic financing and encourage the INSS to purchase Treasury Bonds.

May 7: The Monetary Policy Committee in the National Bank of Angola brought forward its ordinary session to analyse the impact of Covid-19 in the economy and assess the use of monetary policy as a means to relieve pressure on the Angolan economy.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
May 4: The Angolan government has eased contractual procurement procedures specifically for public contracts of any goods, services or works related to mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on the country. This relates to the passing of Presidential Decree 120/20 and Executive Decree 153/20.

On 27 June, a revised general state budget proposal was examined by parliament.

30 June: Public procurement procedures have been further informalised to facilitate administrative easing; any written document specifying required information will be accepted and the value of the procedural will be allowed to be conducted.

On 28 July, the National Assembly in Angola adopted a supplementary budget aimed at providing fiscal space for additional healthcare, while also maintaining a sustainable debt path for the country.

20 Septemer: Angola established an inter-ministerial commission to manage the COVID-19 response and introduced a specific COVID-19 programme in the budget classification for this purpose.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 May: Imports of some food, medicines and bio-safety materials will benefit from a temporary exemption on payment instrument limits, announced the National Bank of Angola, on publishing instruction no. 05/2020, of 30 March.

30 May: Suspension of exports of nationalized food, medicine and medical equipment, including those carried by the inhabitants of border areas.

30 May: A list of Covid-19 prevention and treatment medico-medicated goods subject to the regulated price regime has been released.

30 May: SADC Member States have established National Emergency Operations Centres to facilitate coordination of logistics and stockpiling for disasters at the national level. The SADC Pooled Procurement Services for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies is being implemented to provide sustainable availability and access to affordable and effective essential medicine and health commodities, and Member States have been encouraged to utilise this facility for the procurement of the needed supplies for prevention, treatment and control of COVID-19 and any other epidemics.

30 September: Angola has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost

14 January: Angola expects to receive five million COVID-19 vaccines in February 2021 and the remaining seven million others in April in partnership with COVAX. Besides Pfizer's vaccines, the minister said, the country may also acquire other vaccines that were certified and authorised by competent health authorities.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
In April, additional healthcare spending to mitigate coronavirus, estimated at USD 40 million, was announced.

On 9 April, the Executive designed a set of immediate cost-cutting measures in a Presidential Decree that, including:
Freezing 30% of its goods and services budget and its CAPEX has been suspended pending completion of the budget review;
Suspension of all processes of new admissions and promotions in the Civil Service, with the exception of sectors previously approved, until the completion of the Budget Review;
Reduction of travel by Executive Members and Government Executive Delegations;
Redefinition and classification of the range of vehicles to be attributed to State managers and suspension of the acquisition of new vehicles for personal use;

22 April: the Minister of Finance stated that the execution of all government contracts whose source of funding has not been secured or whose goods/services are not of a priority to the structural integrity of the economy are to be suspended. This suspension does not apply to health, education, social action, logistical supply, sanitation and other previously-secured-fund-contracts with the state.

On 28 July, the national Assembly in Angola passed a revised state budget (OGE). Although no detailed breakdown has been made publicly available as yet, forecasts suggest that revenue collection will be 29% lower than was originally expected from the OGE of 2019 (moving from USD 30 billion to USD 22 billion). In contrast, budgetary expenditure will decrease by 9%, lead by reductions in the purchase of goods and services by roughly 20%, and the reduction of interest expenses by 9%.

11 September: The National Assembly allocated an additional USD 7 million (less than 0.01% of GDP) to the improvement of healthcare infrastructure pertaining to COVID-19 testing.
Transparency, accountability and participation
15 April: a website for Economic Relief (https://alivioeconomico.org/) has been recently launched by the Ministry of Economy and Planning. It is a digital tool that outlines the measures taken by the government to alleviate the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country’s economy. It provides information on tax relief, social security requirements, financing packages and some current expenditure to be carried out.

Business support and tax measures
30 April: The Ministry of Finance has proposed reducing the Industrial Tax, to give companies more resources to reinvest and thus renew their business; strengthening the capitalisation of the Credit Guarantee Fund; reinforcement of lines of credit to support business initiatives in the private sector.

30 April: Immediate operationalisation of credit to support food producers and start of the Rural Trade Program

30 April: Postponement of the removal of fuel subsidies to another financial year.

30 April: Exemption from payment of Value Added Tax and customs duties for goods imported for the purpose of humanitarian aid and donations.

30 April: In an attempt to promote the oil sector amidst declining demand due to Covid-19, the parliament of Angola has adopted legislation which will grant tax benefits (a deduction of investment premiums on tax on income from oil) to specific oil blocks in the country.

30 April: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the state will refrain from collecting USD 260 million (0.14% of GDP) in tax revenues from companies. The national institute of social security will also refrain from taking contributions of up to USD 50 Million (0.03% of GDP) as a means to relieve companies paying social security benefits. This applies until the 10th of May 2020, and will be subject to applications from various companies.

11 May: Announcement of measures to ensure financial support to maintain minimum levels of activity of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the manufacturing sector, through the consignment of USD 775 million (0.73% of GDP) and the removal of some administrative procedures. These are mainly related to setting up companies, such as statistical registration and requests for a commercial permit to conduct certain activities.

10 November: Tax relief measures relating to the impact of COVID-19 on the diamond industry in Angola are expected to continue into 2021.
Financing social assistance and food relief
30 April: applications for a moratorium on personal credit repayments have begun. These measures apply to personal creditors who have paid their required credit debt off by end of March 2020, and are now facing difficulties paying off credit thereafter. This moratorium will last 60 days.

25 May: As part of a package of social protection responses, the Ministry of Social Affairs, Family, and Women’s Promotion (MASFAMU) announced that the Child Grant implemented in Bie, Moxico, and Uige provinces will be topped up (from 3000 to 5000 Kwanzas, or approximately USD 6 to USD 10 monthly) and a double payment will be made. The government has also adapted the payment procedures to ensure adequate sanitation and worker protection during the transfers.

14 April: The United Nations has granted Angola USD 3.5 million in order to prop up food security in Namibe, Huila, Cunene and Cuando Cubango amidst the Covid-19 crisis.

14 May: The Ministry of Social Action, Family and Women Empowerment is expected to disburse AOA 315 million (USD 562 500) to support food distribution efforts to vulnerable groups throughout Angola.

Primary sources
The Africa Report
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African Health Stats
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Angolan Ministry of Health
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Macau Hub
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John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
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IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
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National Bank of Angola

World Bank Social Protection and Job Responses to COVID-19

Embassy of The United States in Angola Website

All Africa News Website

Mondaq News Website

Relief Web

Benin

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
5434 Source
Confirmed deaths
70 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
In March, a comprehensive mitigation and prevention plan is estimated at CFAF 60 billion (USD 100 million or 0.7% of GDP).

By April, the Government of Benin had prepared a COVID-19 response plan for USD 320 million (1.7% of GDP) to contain health risks and support the economy.

26 June: The government of Benin has prepared a Covid response plan for USD 672 million, or 4.7% of GDP.

30 August: It was announced that the portion of the response plan allocated to being spent in 2020 was set at CFAF 150 billion (USD 270.6 million or 1.7% of GDP), with the remaining USD 400 million set to be spent over the next 2 years.
Official COVID-19 links
https://www.gouv.bj/coronavirus/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
17
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
3,72%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
43%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
3,72%

Domestic and external financing
Benin is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon on debt servicing through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. Benin will receive relief of USD 10.17 million (or 0.07% of GDP).

A COVID-19 Fund has been set up under the Minister of Economy and Finance. The mandate of this fund remains unspecified.

15 May: The IMF Executive Board approved an immediate disbursement of USD 125.1 million (or, 0.87% of GDP) to Benin to address the urgent financing needs stemming spread of COVID-19 and to mitigate its economic and social impacts.

20 May: Additional domestic financing relative to the budget plan of CFAF 65.4 billion (USD 109 million, or 0.76% of GDP).

28 April: The World Bank approved an additional financing of USD10.4 million from the International Development Association (IDA) to support Benin's efforts to fight COVID-19 (coronavirus) and help the country respond to public health emergencies.The Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement Project (REDISSE) has earmarked USD 20 million (0.14% of GDP), while USD 10 million (0.07% of GDP) is being funded by the Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) of the Benin Early Years Nutrition and Child Development Project (EYNCDP), bringing the sum total allocated by the World Bank to Benin's emergency measures to USD 40 million.

26 June:The World Bank Board of Directors approved an International Development Association (IDA) additional financing of USD 50 million (approximately 0.3% of GDP) to help Benin mitigate the impact of the coronavirus health crisis in the socio-economic recovery phase.

24 July: The African Development Bank Board approved a concessional loan of USD 7.4 million (approximately 0.05% of GDP) to help Benin mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

9 September: The World Bank Board approved a concessional loan of USD 6.85 million (approximately 0.05% of GDP) for Benin for COVID-19 Education Response GPE Project.

2 October: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon to Benin on debt servicing through the second tranche of Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust for USD 8.98 million (or 0.06% of GDP).
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On March 21: The Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) announced the following measures: i) providing XOF 340 billion (USD 559 million) of additional liquidity made available to the banks by weekly and monthly auctions up to XOF 4 750 billion (USD 7,8 billion) ; ii) extending the collateral framework to access the BCEAO's refinancing to include XOF 1,050 billion (USD 1,7 billion) of bank debt of prequalified 1,700 private companies; iii) setting-up of a framework with the banking system to support firms with repayment difficulties.

On March 25: Further measures include: i) allocation of XOF 25 billion (USD 41 million) to the trust fund of the West African Development Bank (BOAD), in order to increase the amount of confessional loans to eligible countries to finance urgent investment and equipment expenses; ii) communicating of the special program for refinancing bank credits granted to SMEs; iii) initiating negotiations with firms issuing electronic money to encourage its usage; iv) ensuring adequate provision of banknotes for satisfactory ATM operations.

To promote the use of electronic payment tools the Western Africa Central Bank (BCEAO) is providing more flexible measures to open a mobile money and making transfers between people backed by electronic money free.

30 April: The regional central bank has also created "Covid-19 T-bills" as a means to raise funding during the pandemic.

On 22 June, the BCEAO announced that it had decreased the tender operations rate from 2.5% to 2%, and that the interest rate on marginal loan windows was reduced to 4% from 4.5%.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
On April 27, Heads of states of the West-Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) declared a temporary suspension of the WAEMU growth and stability Pact setting six convergence criteria, including the 3 % of GDP fiscal deficit rule, to help member-countries cope with the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing member countries to raise fiscal deficits temporarily.

30 April: A committee with special powers to make resource allocation decisions has been created.

28 August: The government’s financial management information system (FMIS) has been combined with other mechanisms to track spending and revenue, including in-kind donations made to the COVID-19 fund.

28 August: Private funds have been administered separately, earmarked for delivering specific services, and tracked through an ad hoc system.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
On 1 April: The government made protective masks available at the subsidized price of FCFA200 (USD 0,33).

30 April: The government has authorised its central purchasing office to make chloroquine available at a subsidized price.

30 September: Benin has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
End-April: The mitigation and prevention measures taken so far by the authorities amount to CFAF 10 billion (about USD 17 million or 0.1 % of GDP).

20 May: On the revenue side, the projected tax and customs shortfall due to the economic slowdown and the border closure with Nigeria is estimated at 1.1% of GDP (under the assumption that the border remains closed until mid-year). On the spending side, the authorities plan to reallocate 0.6% of GDP from non-essential goods and services and non-health capital expenditure to the new priorities of the emergency package estimated at 1.7% of GDP. As a result, the 2020 fiscal deficit is revised upward by 1.7% of GDP.

20 May: Within the budget envelope, the authorities have reallocated CFAF 31 billion from low-priority capital projects and CFAF 19.7 billion from recurrent spending.

26 June: Authorities have allocated an increase in healthcare spend by CFAF 60 billion (USD 103 million) as part of their response plan.
Transparency, accountability and participation
20 May: As part of their committment to the IMF, the authorities are committed to conducting an audit of their response plan next year, which will be independently carried out by the Accounting Chamber and made available to the public on its website. The authorities will also publish the procurement contracts of the main projects, indicating their amount and beneficiaries.

Business support and tax measures
April 2020: applications for a moratorium on personal credit repayments have begun. These measures apply to personal creditors who have paid their required credit debt off by end of March 2020, and are now facing difficulties paying off credit thereafter. This moratorium will last 60 days.

10 June: The stimulus package announced by authorities is expected to cover 70% of gross salaries of all formal sector employees, reimburse VAT, and exempt businesses from other taxes and utility payments over a 3-month period.
Financing social assistance and food relief
21 May: One third of the response plan will consist of transfers to vulnerable households representing above one quarter of the population. A system of cash wires through mobile banking building on ARCH (the new health insurance system) or channelled through the safety nets component of the World Bank ACCESS project is being considered. If technical constraints prevent its use, the authorities will resort to more traditional forms of transfer, such as food distribution programs and utility bill subsidies. Both cash transfers and subsidies are expected to benefit the formal and informal sectors.

Primary sources
The OECD Innovation Hub
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African Health Stats
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John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
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IMF Policy Response to COVID-19

IMF Country Report

Botswana

Tests p/million
1325
Confirmed cases
30727 Source
Confirmed deaths
332 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
1 March: The authorities anticipate spending of around P5 billion (USD 42 million or 2.4% of GDP).

25 March: Presidential Directive directed the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to urgently mobilise P2 billion (USD 166 million or 10% of GDP) through transfers from Special Funds and appropriation from the Consolidated Fund and that the funds be paid into the COVID19 Relief Fund. The Fund will cover provision of psychosocial support to all those affected, support workers, stabilise businesses and ensure availability of strategic supplies and explore opportunities for economic diversification.

26 June: Botswana is estimated to require a total of P40 billion (18.6% of 2018 GDP in Botswana, or USD 3.5 billion) over the next two and a half years to revive its COVID-19-hit economy and to cover its expected budget deficits.

22 October: The expected deficit for the remainder of the Development Plan in Bostwana, which ends in 2023, sit at P13.6 billion (USD1.19 billion or 6.39% of GDP).
Official COVID-19 links
https://cms1.gov.bw/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
521
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
9,15%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
5,25%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
9,15%

Domestic and external financing
On 31 March President Masisi announced that an economic stimulus package is being developed to buffer the impact of COVID-19.

Cabinet members have pledged 10% of their salaries to the relief fund for a period of six months. The amount comes up to about USD 14 000 per month and USD 84 000 over the six-month period.

Judges of the High Court, and Justices of the Court of Appeal have unanimously agreed to contribute 5% of their basic salary towards the Relief Fund.

1 May: The United States government has contributed P56 million pula (USD 4.65 million, or 0.03% of GDP) to Botswana's COVID-19 pandemic response.

8 June: The UNDP is to expand the flagship programme, the "Business Supplier development Programme" (SDP), by providing additional assistance to SME suppliers.

1 July: Botswana may need to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to help with funding to deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the Finance and Economic Development Minister.

22 October: Botswana had approached the World Bank for budgetary suport after the COVID-19 crisis dented state revenues. No quantum is in place yet but ideally authorities are hoping to get about 50% of the expected P13.6 billion (USD1.19 billion or 6.39% of GDP). This amount will cover the deficit for the remainder of the development plan which ends in 2023. Botswana's parliament in September approved a P14.5 billion (USD1.3 billion or 6.98% of GDP) economic recovery plan, which would be funded through a combination of local borrowing and external sources.

3 November: Germany donated USD 5.7 million to Botswana as a means to assist the country in combating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

16 September: Botswana’s parliament has approved a government request to double its domestic borrowing programme to P30 billion (USD2.6 billion or 14% of GDP) to fund its budget deficit and economic stimulus.

5 November: Parliment has approved the mid-term review of NDP 11, including a P15 billion (USD 1.35 billion or 7.25% of GDP) stimulus to support economic recovery and to facilitate structural transformation. The bond issuance programme started at a ceiling of P5 billion (USD451 million or 2.42% of GDP) in 2008 and was increased to P15 billion (USD 1.35 billion or 7.25% of GDP) in 2011, a threshold which was reached in June this year
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
The Bank of Botswana has received commitments from commercial banks to reduce charges for digital transactions by at least 25%. In addition, limits on mobile money transactions have been raised.

The prudential capital adequacy ratio for banks operating in Botswana has been reduced from 15 to 12.5%

Banks and nonbank offerors of credit have agreed to offer loan restructuring (including for mortgages and vehicles) and payment holidays for affected sectors as of end of April 2020.

On April 30, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Botswana announced that it would reduce the bank rate by 0.5%, from 4.75% to 4.25%. It also reduced its reserve rate from 5% to 2.5% in order to improve liquidity.

30 April: The Bank of Botswana introduced a new annual downward rate of crawl from 1.51% to 2.87%, effective 1 May 2020, which together with the bank rate reduction will contribute to further easing of rel money of real monetary conditions.

25 June: The Bank of Botswana is to introduce measures to improve liquidity. This includes; (i) Reducing the capital adequacy ratio for banks from 15% to 12.5%; (ii) Broadening access to repo facilities; (iii) Reducing overnight funding costs; and (iv) Extending collateral constraints for bank borrowing from the Bank of Botswana so as to include traded stocks and corporate bonds.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
30 April: All Government institutions will pay purchase orders within 5 days and parastatals will pay within 24 hours. Measures have been taken to improve the efficiency of procurement processes. Government will pay all outstanding arrears for invoices within 2 weeks.

30 April: The COVID-19 Economic Advisory Committee has been evaluating the potential economic impact on Botswana, and has prepared a package of interventions designed to mitigate that impact and provide some support to businesses and households, consistent with available fiscal space.

1 June: Moody’s has changed Botswana’s A2 sovereign ratings from stable to Negative due to the Covid-19 shock to growth and revenue on the economy and its diamond sector.

30 September: A dedicated “virtual” spending entity has been created in FMIS to track COVID-19 spending.The “virtual” entity is used to ensure that all related inflows and expenditures are recorded, and budget execution controls are applied.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 April: Botswana Innovation Hub, through its annual innovation fund, called for proposals from entrepreneurs to address challenges in public health systems, public service delivery, transportation and payments, logistics and value chains.

30 May: SADC Member States have established National Emergency Operations Centres to facilitate coordination of logistics and stockpiling for disasters at the national level. The SADC Pooled Procurement Services for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies is being implemented to provide sustainable availability and access to affordable and effective essential medicine and health commodities, and Member States have been encouraged to utilise this facility for the procurement of the needed supplies for prevention, treatment and control of COVID-19 and any other epidemics.

3 June: Government will continue to ensure the availability of strategic supplies to Botswana at a regulated price including; a build-up of fuel and grain reserves, and the sufficient provision of water tanks and medical equipment.

30 September: Botswana has submitted non-binding confirmations of intent to participate in the COVAX Facility, a Gavi-coordinated pooled procurement mechanism for new COVID-19 vaccines. Botswana would be able to use the mechanism to buy and procure COVID-19 vaccines at the cheaper prices Gavi has negotiated — but the country would have to allow COVAX to procure and buy the vaccines on its behalf..
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
On 24 April, Finance Minister Matsheka noted projected revenue will fall from P62.4 billion to 48 billion (22% decline). He said government has revised the budget by doing away with conferences, and deferring salary increment for public servants, which was supposed to come into effect on April 1, 2020. The deferment will last for at least six months. Total expenditure has been revised downward by P8 billion from P59.6 billion.

By 24 April, the Ministry of Health submitted a request of P2 472 700 995 (USD 202 million, or 1.1% of GDP), for laboratory commodities, personal protective clothing and equipment, medicines, linen, accommodation for people on quarantine and operational costs. The government approved a part of this request.
.
Transparency, accountability and participation
On 8 May, The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development informed the public that for transparency and accountability purposes, all name of companies and organisations that have benefitted from the Government wage subsidy for April have been published on the Ministry of Finance Website.

2 August: The Office of the President sacked the Ministry of Health and Wellness permanent secretary and deputy permanent secretary in April. In May, the president disbanded the ministry’s procurement following reports of possible collusion with tenderpreneurs-cum-covidpreneurs taking advantage of the coronavirus panic to overcharge, cheat the government and steal public funds. On 24 May, the Sunday Standard reported that the government had cancelled two tenders worth more than P80-million (USD 7 million) which had been awarded to Pula Rich Investments and Mileage Air (Pty) Ltd to supply testing kits.

Business support and tax measures
To give businesses cash-flow relief, Government, through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will:
• Guarantee loans by commercial banks to businesses most affected by COVID-19;
• Give eligible businesses affected by COVID-19 access to credit to support ongoing operations in conditions where credit becomes more difficult to obtain and;
• Give tax concessions to businesses in eligible sectors.
• VAT refunds to businesses will be expedited to assist with cash flow.

• Banks have agreed to offer restructuring of loan facilities through which each bank will consider each case within their credit policy and parameters. This will include owner-occupied residential property mortgages and motor vehicle loans;
• All commercial banks will offer a payment holiday for 3 months with the option to extend to six (6) months to the affected sectors;
• Regular payment obligations including life insurance premium payment, retirement fund contributions and loan instalments will be restructured and rescheduled to offer relief for at least three months to COVID-19 affected people subject to individual policies.

May 7: The government has established a 2 Billion Pula (1.1% of GDP) Covid relief fund aimed at financing a waiver on the mandatory company skills levy, as well as creating a government-backed guarantee fund from which tax-compliant businesses can obtain credit guarantees over the next 2 years. VAT refund periods have also been decreased from 60 to 21 days in the country.

8 September: The Minister of Finance has implemented a tax deferral of 75% of any quarterly payment between March and September 2020 to be paid by end-March 2021.

On 3 November, the government of Botswana announced that a wage subsidy for those working in the tourism industry would be extended by five months.
Financing social assistance and food relief
30 March: government will provide a wage subsidy for citizen employees of businesses mostly affected by COVID-19, to enable them to retain employees.

On 24 April, it was announced that P 114 million (USD 9,34 million) was approved for food hampers for April and P 26 million (USD 2.1 million for temporary social workers. 100 water tanks were acquired to bring 5000 litres of water for those without water connections.

30 March: Social security contributions have been rescheduled to a later date for at least three months from the end of April 2020.

May 7: The government has established a 2 Billion Pula (USD 164 million or 1.1% of GDP) Covid relief fund aimed at subsidising wages (approximately 50% of all affected workers) over a period of 3 months. Employers receiving these subsidies must commit to not retrenching staff due to the Coronavirus.

Primary sources
Botswana Government Facebook Group
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African Health Stats
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Bank of Botswana
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IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
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John Hopkins University- Coronavirus

Burkina Faso

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
12047 Source
Confirmed deaths
143 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
End-March: A response plan has been estimated at FCFA 394 billion (USD 650 million or 4.5% of GDP) This amount includes the overall health response plan, which amounts to approximately FCFA 178 billion (USD 293 million, or 2.1% of GDP).

10 July: The revised financial requirement induced by the COVID-19 epidemic amount to CFA 394.05 billion (USD 685 million or 4.85% of GDP).
Official COVID-19 links
https://www.facebook.com/finances.gov.bf/

https://www.sante.gov.bf/corona-virus

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
46
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
11%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
31%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
11%

Domestic and external financing
On 14 April, SDR 84.28 million was provided by the IMF through its Rapid Credit Facility.

23 April: the authorities are discussing exceptional financing from the members of the Alliance pour le Sahel, African Development Bank (USD 10 million), China (USD 1.2 million, in-kind grant) and France. The authorities also plan to mobilize additional financing from regional bodies, including the Western African Development Bank (BOAD). The authorities would seek to fill any remaining financing gap by tapping into regional bond market.

end-April: Burkina Faso is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon on debt servicing through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. By 7 May, Burkina Faso had been offered USD 11.96 million worth of relief from the IMF (translating to 0.08% of GDP).

28 April: The European Union has announced additional support to Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, of 194 million Euros. This comes after the EU pledged to mobilise 449 million Euros earlier on in April for the same 5 countries.

30 April: The World Bank approved USD 21.15 (roughly 0.15% of GDP) million in financing, of which 50% grant and 50% credit from the International Development Association (IDA)* to help Burkina Faso respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

29 May: An EU-IOM partnership seeks to mobilise just over 1 million Euros (less than 0.01% of GDP) to alleviate the impact of Covid-19 on migrants/refugees in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, and Senegal.

5 June: The World Bank approved USD 74 million (0.07% of GDP) in financing to assist Burkina Faso in curbing the impact of COVID-19 in the country. Burkina faso is also participating in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) offered by the World Bank. The fiscal space that may be created by the DSSI is around CFAF 13 billion (USD 23.3 million or 0.02% of GDP).

9 June: The African Development Bank has approved grant funding of USD 20 million in response to the economic impact of Covid-19 for Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.

On 22 July, the African Development Bank approved, a budget support of USD 284.8 million to support the efforts of the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad) in the implementation of their response plans to the COVID-19 and economic recovery

2 October: The IMF has offered a pardon to Burkina on debt servicing through the second tranche of Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust for USD 14.52 million (or 0.09% of GDP).

10 November: Burkina is participating in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space that could be created by the DSSI is USD 25.9 million or 0.2% of GDP.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On March 21: The Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) announced the following measures: i) providing XOF 340 billion (USD 589 million) of additional liquidity made available to the banks by weekly and monthly auctions up to XOF 4 750 billion (USD 8.2 billion) ; ii) extending the collateral framework to access the BCEAO's refinancing to include XOF 1,050 billion (USD 1.8 billion) of bank debt of prequalified 1,700 private companies; iii) setting-up of a framework with the banking system to support firms with repayment difficulties.

On March 25: Further measures include: i) allocation of XOF 25 billion to the trust fund of the West African Development Bank (BOAD), in order to increase the amount of confessional loans to eligible countries to finance urgent investment and equipment expenses; ii) communicating of the special program for refinancing bank credits granted to SMEs; iii) initiating negotiations with firms issuing electronic money to encourage its usage; iv) ensuring adequate provision of banknotes for satisfactory ATM operations.

To promote the use of electronic payment tools the Western Africa Central Bank (BCEAO) is providing more flexible measures to open a mobile money and making transfers between people backed by electronic money free.

30 April: The regional central bank has also created "Covid-19 T-bills" as a means to raise funding during the pandemic.

On 22 June, the BCEAO announced that it had decreased the tender operations rate from 2.5% to 2%, and that the interest rate on marginal loan windows was reduced to 4% from 4.5%.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
On April 27, Heads of states of the West-Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) declared a temporary suspension of the WAEMU growth and stability Pact setting six convergence criteria, including the 3 % of GDP fiscal deficit rule, to help member-countries cope with the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing member countries to raise fiscal deficits temporarily.


On 17 June, the Cabinet approved the draft revised 2020 budget which seeks to address the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.

10 July: The Supplementary Finance Law (SFL) was revised downward for 2020 due to the impact of Coronavirus on the economy.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 September: Burkina Faso has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

5 November: The government took relief measures to facilitate imports of consumer and pharmaceutical products, such as a decrease in administrative processes associated with importing medical goods.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
On 2 April, the authorities announced plans to revise the 2020 budget to address the socio-economic impacts of the outbreak. Several measures are under consideration, including, among others: (i) lowering import duties and VAT for hygiene and healthcare goods and services critical to tackle COVID-19, and for tourism businesses; (ii) lowering other selected tax rates; (iii) delaying tax payments, and waiving late payment fines and penalties; (iv) granting exemptions to micro enterprises in the informal sector; (v) lowering the licensing fee for companies in the transportation and tourism sectors; (vi) suspending on-site tax inspection operations; (vii) Donating food and providing assistance to households and local small businesses; (viii) supporting the water and electricity bills, including through cancelation, of the most vulnerable social groups; and (ix) securing adequate stocks of consumer products and strengthening surveillance of prices. An emergency response plan for the health sector has been prepared.

15 May: It was announced that, towards the end of May, budget amendments and adjustments would be voted on given the impact of Covid-19 on the economy of Burkina Faso.

On 17 June, the Cabinet approved the draft revised 2020 budget which seeks to address the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.

10 July: The Supplementary Finance Law (SFL) was revised downward for 2020 due to the impact of Coronavirus on the economy. The expected revenue has been revised down from CFA 2.2 trillion (USD 3.8 billion or 27% of GDP) to CFA 2.04 trillion (USD 3.55 billion or 25% of GDP). Internal financing has also been revised down from CFA 1.8 trillion to CFA 1.6 trillion (from USD 3.1 billion to USD 2.8 billion or 22% to 20% of GDP respectively). External financing requirements have increased from CFA 339 billion to CFA 367 billion (USD 591 million to USD 640 million or 4.2% to 4.5% of GDP respectively). This SFL prioritises health expenditure and measures to revive the economy, including tax relief measures.

30 September: Contracting procedures between government and healthcare providers were expedited.
Transparency, accountability and participation
21 May: The authorities have taken measures to transparently track resources and expenditures related to the pandemic, including by opening new accounts at the central bank specific for COVID-related accounts. Periodic report on these accounts will be produced.

6 June: CSO, La Gouvernance Démocratique in Burkina Faso, started discussions around COVID-19 funding after certain sectors received bigger allocations than healthcare.

Business support and tax measures
end-March: Many tax measures have been announced until June 2020, including tax exemption of small businesses, postponement of penalties for companies which have fallen foul of their tax obligations, reduction in licence payments and suspension of Management Learning Tax for transport companies and hotels.

end-April:An economic recovery fund has been established for affected companies in the amount of FCFA 100 billion (USD 164 million). Agricultural supplies and feed have been acquired for support of food and pastoral production, worth FCFA 30 billion (USD 49 million).

17 June: Measures under consideration or taken in the revision of the 2020 budget include: (i) lowering import duties and VAT for hygiene and healthcare goods and services critical to tackle COVID-19, and for tourism businesses; (ii) lowering other selected tax rates; (iii) delaying tax payments, and waiving late payment fines and penalties; (iv) suspending government fees charged on informal sector operators for rent, security and parking in urban markets; (v) lowering the licensing fee for companies in the transportation and tourism sectors; (vi) suspending on-site tax inspection operations.

7 July: The SFL introduced a reduction in VAT from 18% to 10% and a coverage of 70% of the wages of declared workers.
Financing social assistance and food relief
30 March: Until June 2020, the Government has promised to cover water bills, some electricity bills, reduction in cost of solar kits for vulnerable households, and subsidies on water and electricity costs for market vendors.

30 March: Price controls for staple foods, including cereals (rice, millets, sorghum, maize, beans) and others food items (sugar, oil) but also gasoline and cooking gas.

30 March: A solidarity fund has been established for the informal sector, especially for women, for the renewal of trade activities in vegetables and fruits, worth FCFA 5 billion (USD 8 million).

25 May: Cash transfers to informal sector workers (fruits and vegetable sellers). Total cost of USD 10 million (5 billion CFA) to help the fruits and vegetable informal retailers affected by the situation, particularly women.

25 May: In-kind transfers to market vendors. This aimed at the most vulnerable people of the markets that have been closed due to the outbreak.

22 May: The WHO has given the Ministry of Health medical and personal protective equipment worth around USD 70 000 to support health workers caring for patients as well as the implementation of barrier measures in places like schools when reopen.

Primary sources
IMF Lending Tracker
_
African Health Stats
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Burkina Faso Ministry of Finance Facebook Page
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IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
__
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
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Ministère de l'Économie, des Finances et du Développement
_
The European Commission

IMF Country Report

World Bank Social Protection and Job Responses to COVID-19

CNBC Africa Website

Burundi

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
2224 Source
Confirmed deaths
3 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
On 24 March, the COVID-19 contingency plan was estimated at USD 14.5 million (0.5 % of GDP). By 1 April 2020, the required funding estimate increased to USD 26 million (approx 0.9% GDP). The cost is anticipated to rise rapidly with the number of cases.

03 April: Launch of the Operational Plan for the response against COVID-19 by the Ministry of Public Health that states that USED 27.8 million is required to respond to the crisis.

30 August: The updated COVID-19 response plan has been re-estimated to cost a total of USD 150 million (or 4.7% of GDP) cumulatively over 2020 and 2021. The plan aims to strengthen the health care system, the social safety net, and parts of the road network to facilitate access to sick people.
Official COVID-19 links
http://minisante.bi/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
15
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
8,50%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
25%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
8,50%

Domestic and external financing
On 14 April, the World Bank approved a USD 5 million grant (0.2% of GDP) from the International Development Association to respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness in Burundi.

8 April: The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocated USD 75 million (approximately 2.5% of GDP) for a humanitarian response to the COVID-19 pandemic
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On 20 July, IMF Board approved USD 7.63 million (equivalent to 0.2% of Burundi's GDP) through its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT)

8 September: Burundi is participating in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space that could be created by the DSSI is USD 3.9 million or 0.1% of GDP. On 10 November: the amount of debt relief offered under the DSSI increased to USD 4.5 million (also 0.1% of GDP)

2 October: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon to Burundi on debt servicing through the second tranche of Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust for USD 6.8 million (or 0.13% of GDP).
Monetary and macrofinancial measures

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 June: Support to strengthen procurement and supply chains has also made sure medicines and tests are available even in remote communities.

30 September: Burundi has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

26 October: COVID-19 testing for foreign nationals entering into Burundi will cost USD 100- this will cross-subsidise the cost of testing for locals, coming in at USD 30 per test.

14 January: Burundi is set to receive 2.3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine through the AU.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
Transparency, accountability and participation
20 April: As part of their commitment to the IMF, Government committed to conduct COVID-19-specific audit and publish results.

Business support and tax measures
30 June: Measures have been taken to support specific hotels and industries. Taxes owed will be forgiven for hotels and industries that will not be able to pay. Subsidies are planned to help pay salaries in these sectors and avoid massive layoffs. Salaries for suspended services will continue to be paid with government support.
Financing social assistance and food relief
On 24 April, it was announced that P 114 million (USD 9,34 million) was approved for food hampers for April and P 26 million (USD 2.1 million for temporary social workers. 100 water tanks were acquired to bring 5000 litres of water for those without water connections.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
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African Health Stats
_
World Bank
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John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
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Mail and Guardian
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Relief Web

Cabo Verde

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
15483 Source
Confirmed deaths
148 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
16 April: Health and social protection measures related to COVID-19 are estimated at 1.2% of GDP.
Official COVID-19 links
https://www.minsaude.gov.cv/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
197
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
9,89%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
26%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
9,89%

Domestic and external financing
On 2 April, the World Bank approved a USD 5 million (0.25% of GDP) credit from the International Development Association.

On 24 April, the IMF approved a loan of USD 32.3 million (1.63% of GDP) to Cabo Verde, at an interest rate of 0%. This has been made available as direct budget support.

28 April: Cabo Verde's government has approved the use of 1.6 million Euros (roughly 0.1% of GDP) from the country's National Emergency Fund (FNE) in response to Covid-19.

25 May: The African Development Bank approved USD 33 million (1.65% of GDP) loan to tackle Covid-19 in Cape Verde

10 June: The EU has provided 5 million Euro (0.3% of GDP) in funding to assist Cabo Verde with the country's response to Covid-19.

25 June: The World Bank has approved a further disbursement of USD 5 million (0.3% of GDP) available to assist in Cabo Verde's COVID-19 response plan.

3 September: The US government has provided the government of Cabo Verde with a grant of USD 1.5 million (or 0.08% of GDP)

8 September: Cabo Verde is participating in the World Bank's Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space created by this DSSI amounts to USD 14.9 million, or approximately 0.7% of Cabo Verde's GDP.. On November 10, the amount of debt suspension was amended upwards to 0.9% of GDP or USD 18 million.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
The Bank of Cabo Verde (BCV) has approved a package of measures for stimulation and mitigation of the impact of coronavirus on the country’s economy, under the terms of which the banking sector will have to provide over 1,4 billion.

The benchmark interest rate by was reduced from 1.5% to 0.25% to set off a quicker and deeper response by the banks, without compromising or causing insecurity in key segments of financing of the credit institutions.

Another stimulus is the drop in the rate of the permanent loan liquidity facility from 3% to 0.5%, to signal to commercial banks that the central bank will provide funds in situations of a lack of bank liquidity.

A new long-term liquidity instrument has been introduced to finance banks over periods of up to three years and to set an attractive interest rate of 0.75%, for the extended credit line. The BCV also announced a credit line for banks at an interest rate of 0.75%, up to 45 billion

Finally, a reduction in Minimum Cash Availability from 13% to 10%, is another measure announced to “strongly” encourage banks to capitalise liquidity freed up for credit to the economy.

On 10 June, the Monetary Policy Committee decided to leave the interest rate unchanged in Cabo Verde.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
30 June: The proposed procurement approach prioritizes fast track emergency procurement for the required emergency goods, particularly for the prevention and response phases, this extends towards the following key measures; applying shorter bidding time, retroactive financing, no bid security, advance payments, direct payments on a case by case basis.

2 October: A 2021 budget proposal has been tabled for discussion in Cabo Verde.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
On 29 September, the minister of health in Cabo Verde signed an agreement to import medical supplies at lower costs.

30 September: Cabo Verde has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

2 October: Although the 2021 budget has yet to be finalised, an indication by the minister of finance suggests that healthcare will be allocated an additional 1.15 to 1.65 billion CVE (betwen USD 12.4 million and 17.8 million, or roughly between 0.6% and 0.9% of GDP) in light of the expected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.

5 November: The government of Cabo Verde has decreased tariffs on the importing of masks into the country.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
On 26 March, given estimates that revenue may halve due primarily to a significant reduction in tourism, the government announced, that it will put forward a revised budget and set new priorities for public investment to guarantee that families have employment and income.

In April, authorities announced they will reallocate budget of CVE 76 million (USD 748 000 or less than 0.01% of GDP) to an emergency plan. These resources will help cover additional expenses for personnel, training and medical equipment. Since the Plan was prepared before the local outbreak, it is being revised upward.

16 April: The authorities have taken measures to contain non-priority spending in view of the weakened revenue collection. They have cut spending for travel, training, recruitment, office supplies, and promotions in the civil service. They have also reduced capital spending for new domestically-financed projects that have not started yet. As a result, and taking into account health and social protection measures related to COVID-19 (1.2 % of GDP), expenditures are expected to increase by less than 1 % of GDP.

16 April: The authorities are planning to revise the 2020 budget to take into account new spending priorities and outlays related to COVID-19. The revised budget is expected to be introduced in parliament in the middle of the year.

31 May: According to the monthly budgetary changes document published by the Ministry of the Budget in Cabo Verde, the state reallocated 63 million Escudos (roughly USD 676 000, or 0.03% of GDP) to the Ministry of Health. This funding was reallocated, in the main, from the monthly budgets allocated to the Ministry of Planning (reallocating roughly 55 million Escudos, or USD 590 000- approximately 0.02% of GDP) along with smaller reallocations from police services.

2 October: While the 2021 budget has yet to be finalised, the minister of finance in Cabo Verde has stated the following adjustments with respect to COVID-19::
- 422 million CVE (USD 4.5 million, or 0.2% of GDP) will be allocated to COVID-19 prevention measures
- 225 million CVE (0.1% of GDP or USD 2.4 million) will be allocated to the expansion of a virology laboratory and health centre
- Between 500 million and 1 billion CVE (USD 5.4 million to USD 10.8 million, or between 0.27 and 0.54% of GDP) will then be allocated to the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines once developed
- 323 million CVE (USD 3.5 million, or 0.18% of GDP) will be allocated to educational programming on TV, radio and other digital media as a means to continue on with learning programmes despite the potential for second COVID waves and further lockdowns.
Transparency, accountability and participation
28 May: The court of auditors in Cabo Verde have presented a strategic and operational plan to various judges, directors, and employees which, when finalized, updates various accounting, reporting and regulatory practices in the country (especially, in light of Covid-19).

Business support and tax measures
end-March: Micro, small, medium and large enterprises and individuals will have a moratorium that will postpone loan payments until 30 September home loans, and other loans, provided they prove they do not have an income or their income has been significantly affected by this pandemic.

end-March: The government has launched State-backed lines of credit of USD 7.6 million to boost liquidity of companies during the pandemic.

16 April: Support to the corporate sector covers loan guarantees amounting to some CVE 4 billion (about USD 40 million); temporary tax relief, including flexible payment schedule for value-added and other withholding taxes; accelerated settlement of government invoices, and cancellation of contributions to the pension fund for three months. To benefit from these relief measures, companies need to demonstrate a quarterly revenue loss of 30 percent.

7 May: VAT exemptions on the import and local production of medical supplies, PPEs, rubbing alcohol and disinfectant gel came into place.

20 May: Loan guarantees in Cabo Verde, which had originally been penned at CVE 4 billion (USD 4 million) are now expected to reach CVE 2 billion (USD 21 million), split across small, medium, and large enterprises.

1 September: The government of Cabo Verde has extended the moratorium on mortgage loans and other loan repayments for SMEs until the end of December, 2020, provided that these companies can provide proof of a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

8 September: The government of Cabo Verde has also placed a moratorium on income tax, with individuals in different income brackets being able to defer their tax submissions until as late as the end of November 2020.

2 October: The Minister of Finance announced that the moratorium on tax payments will continue until December 2020. Beyond this, the minister also stated the extension of credit moratoria until June of 2021, and a conditional credit line with interest subsidies of as much as 100% to companies who invest in business recovery post-COVID.
Financing social assistance and food relief
30 April: Expansion of cash transfers to 8,000 families (from original 5,000). Support for workers in micro and small enterprises and self-employed in the informal sector, including sellers of informal commerce and municipal markets. These workers are guaranteed a value of 10,000 escudos (USD 100) for one month. 30,000 workers are expected to benefit.

30 April: Immediate Food Assistance to 22,500 families (around 90,000 people), whose income is below the minimum wage or without any source of income.

30 April: Support for school feeding for around 30,000 children who belong to the most vulnerable households.

30 April: Households and firms that borrow from banks will, according to a decision announced by the Central Bank of Cabo Verde, have a three-month moratorium on payment of debt instalments. Employees will get 70% of gross salary in the event of the labor contract being suspended. 35% will be paid by the employer and 35% by INPS
(National Institute of Social Security).

24 April: For the most vulnerable, mitigating measures are estimated at CVE 2.2 billion (1.2% of GDP).

On 5 May, the Prime Minister of Cabo Verde has announced that 2.6 million masks will be made available across the country to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. This will form part of the basic basket of goods which the government is set to provide families who are not able to afford their own essentials.

14 May: The Association of Chinese Companies in Cabo Verde has contributed 6.5 million Escudos (USD 64 000) into the state's emergency fund, in order to assist those most vulnerable to the economic impact of Covid-19.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
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African Health Stats
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OECD Country Policy Tracker
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Macau Hub
_
World Bank
_
Ugo Gentilini
_
Official Government Website- Cape Verde
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus

IMF Country Report

Tribunal de Contas (Accountability Office) Cabo Verde

Further Africa News Website

PWC Website

Cameroon

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
35714 Source
Confirmed deaths
551 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
The authorities’ initial preparedness and response plan projected COVID-19-related health spending to reach CFAF 25.5 billion (USD 11 million or 0.01% of GDP) over the next three months.

May 7: This projection has increased to CFAF 58.3 billion (USD 100 million, or 0.44% of GDP) over the next three months.

21 May: Updated estimates of the Covid-19 Preparedness and Response Plan prepared by the Cameroonian government have increased to USD 600 million (or 1.55% of GDP) .

31 August: Further updated estimates of Cameroon’s three-year COVID preparedness and response plan presents a total financing cost close to USD 825 million (approximately 2.1% of GDP) , of which roughly USD 750 million (1.9% of GDP) have been identified or made available.
Official COVID-19 links
https://www.minsante.cm/site/?q=en/epid-mie-de-coronavirus-covid---19-

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
23
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
2,95%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
70%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
2,95%

Domestic and external financing
A Solidarity Fund has been established with seed money from Government of 1 billion CFA (USD 1.6 million).

4 May 2020: Cameroon has received USD 226 million (roughly 0.6% of GDP) from the Rapid Credit Facility of the IMF.

14 April: The European Union has released 11 million Euros aid to help Cameroon fight the coronavirus pandemic.

29 May: An EU-IOM partnership seeks to mobilise just over 1 million Euros to alleviate the impact of Covid-19 on migrants/refugees in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, and Senegal.

29 June: The government has announced a USD 97 million (0.25% of GDP) economic stimulus package to respond to COVID -19.

24 June: Cameroon has requested an additional CFAF 60 billion (USD 102 million) from the World Bank.

8 September: Cameroon is participating in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space that could be created by the DSSI is USD 276.1 million or 0.7% of GDP. On November 10, the amount of debt suspension was amended upwards to 0.9% of GDP or USD 337.3million.

21 October: In addition to the original disubrsement by the IMF, Cameroon received a disbursement from the Rapid Credit Facility for USD 156 million (0.4% of GDP)
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On March 24, 2020, BEAC announced that it will suspend its main absorption operations on the monetary market for the coming week in order to better assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on banking liquidity in CEMAC. However, banks with financing needs will be able to satisfy their requests at the marginal lending facility under the usual conditions. Further measures are expected to be taken following the Monetary Policy Committee meeting scheduled on March 27.

From 25 March, MTN Cameroon suspended payment of fees on money transfers between MTN Mobile Money accounts. This measure suspending the payment of fees concerns money transfers for amounts up to 20,000 FCFA. The measure will be limited to 3 transactions per day, per account, and will be valid for a period of 30 days. This may be reviewed based on the evolution of the health crisis.

On 24 June, CEMAC decided on the interest rate for tenders (3.25%), the marginal loan facility rate (5%), and the reserve rates (7% on compulsory reserves, and 4.5% on short-term requirements).

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
30 April: To ensure continuity of its services amid the coronavirus health crisis, Cameroon’s single window for foreign trade (GUCE) deployed digital and telecommuting platforms.

30 April: Simplified procedures have been put in place for procurement.

30 April: Pending establishment of a special appropriations account to receive and manage all resources made available by funders and the State for Covid-19.

30 April: Pending establishment of sectoral units in all ministerial departments for monitoring and management of funds.

30 April: A supplementary budget is under development.

30 June: To boost efficiency and integrity in public spending, the Government of Cameroon created the 'globally- first of its kind' Ministry of Public Procurement (MINMAP).

30 August: A special COVID-19 account, dedicated to financing the national response plan to the pandemic, has been created and is governed by a circular issued by the Minister of Finance. The circular specifies the modalities of organization, operation, and monitoring-evaluation mechanisms of the account.

On 22 October, the ministry of finance published the "Government's Fiscal and Financial Support Measures in the face of COVID-19 Crisis" document. In it, various tax and business assistance policy changes have been outlined.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
On 3 June 2020, Cameroon approved exemption of customs duty and import tax for some items related to COVID-19 prevention.

30 September: Cameroon has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

30 September: Specific facilities were selected based on their capacity and thus designated as service providers for COVID-related health services, but without another accreditation process.

On 22 October, the Minister of Finance announced an expansion of customs incentives in favour of pharmaceutical products. As yet, these have not been specified.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
30 April: Non-oil related revenues down by CFAF 106,9 billion (USD 175 million). Oil revenue down by CFAF 70,5 billion (USD 115 million) relative to the 2020 Finance Act.

4 June: President Biya signed the budget into law. The budget is 11% lower than initially stated in November 2019, due to a drop in revenues as a result of COVID-19.

23 June: Country assessment suggests that public spending should be reprioritised in favour of the health sector to enable it to meet international standards. However, it is currently difficult to mobilise more budgetary resources for the health sector since Cameroon does not have adequate fiscal space. The country is heavily reliant on external financing to combat the adverse effects of COVID-19.

25 August: The authorities’ three-year preparedness and response plan presents a total financing cost close to US$ 825 million, of which about US$750 million have been identified or made available. It also includes tax relief to affected businesses estimated at about US$200 million. The plan includes five pillars, namely: (i) health strategy to prevent the spread of the pandemic and take care of infected persons (US$101 million); (ii) mitigation of economic and financial repercussions of the pandemic (US$646 million); (iii) supply of essential products (US$9.5 million); (iv) local development of innovative solutions (US$16.5 million); and (v) social resilience to alleviate the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable people and households (US$52 million). For 2020, the Revised Finance Law enacted in June 2020 allocates about US$310 million to the special COVID-19 account financed at 76 percent by resources released by debt service suspension and external budgetary support.
Transparency, accountability and participation
20 April: As part of their commitment to the IMF, Government committted to publish COVID-19 public procurement contracts; publish beneficial ownership information of companies receiving COVID-19 procurement contracts; publish COVID-19 expenditure reports; and conduct COVID-19 specific audit and publish results.

Business support and tax measures
On 30 April, the president announced various tax exemptions and moratoria for businesses impacted by Covid-19 (especially in the tourism and catering industry)

30 June: A set of measures provide temporary tax accommodation to businesses directly affected by the crisis through tax moratoria and deferred payments, notably (i) exemptions from the tourist tax in the hotel and catering sectors for the rest of the 2020 financial year; (ii) exemption from the withholding tax for taxis and motorbikes and petty traders for the second quarter; (iii) the allocation of a special envelope of CFAF 25 billion (USD 43 million or 0.11 % of GDP) for the expedited clearance of VAT credits awaiting reimbursement, and (iv) the postponement of the deadline to pay land taxes for the 2020 financial year, to end-September. Other pandemic specific measures have also been taken, notable (i) full income tax deductibility of donations and gifts made by companies for the fight against Covid-19, (ii) three-month suspension of the payment of parking and demurrage charges in the Douala and Kribi ports for essential goods; and (iii) the establishment of a MINFI-MINEPAT consultation framework aimed at mitigating the crisis and promoting a rapid resumption of activity.

On 22 October, the minister of finance in Cameroon announced the following COVID-19 measures to assist businesses:
- An increase in the guarantee ceiling from CFAF 40 billion (USD 72.5 million or 0.19% of GDP) to CFAF 200 billion (USD 362 million or just shy of 1% of GDP). This would effectively increase the guarantee offered by governments on loans taken out by disaster-stricken businesses.
- The establishment of financing lines by the BEAC which will assist in financing businesses affected by the pandemic
- The establishment of subsidised lines of credit from domestic banks
- The development of a partnership between the Ministry of Finance and insurance companies in the country to bolster insurance cover on deposits and guarantees
- An increase in the ceiling for reimbursements from CFAF 6 billion (USD 10.9 million, less than 0.03% of GDP) to CFAF 7 billion (USD 12.7 million, still roughly 0.03% of GDP)

This same announcement also announced the following tax measures:
- An increase in the threshold on interest exemptions from CFAF 10 million to CFAF 50 million (respectively, 18 000 USD to 90 000 USD)
- A special government transfer aimed at allowing severely affected companies a break from tax debts
- The extension for an additional year of tax loss carry forward balances
- The extension of various moratoria
- The reduction in corporate income tax by 2 points for SMEs and SMIs for the year 2021.
- The reduction in taxes charged to firms operating in the transportation, hotel and catering, forestry, ICT, agriculture, aquaculture, and health sectors.
Financing social assistance and food relief
30 March: Social security contributions have been rescheduled to a later date for at least three months from the end of April 2020.

On 30 April, the president announced (1) an increase in the family allowance/grant from CFAF 2500 (USD 4,11) per month to CFAF 4500 (USD 7,44) ; (2) an increase of pensions by 20% to those who did not benefit from the 2016 pension reform; (3) the payment of social securities to staff of companies that are not able to do so given the impact of Covid-19 on their economic standing, and; (4) spreading the payment of social security into 3 tranches until June.

1 July: The COVID-19 response plan included a pillar focused on social assistance, to alleviate the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable people and households. The state allocated USD 52 million or 0.1% of GDP to this pillar to assist in subsidising food parcels, masks, and medical care for those in vulnerable positions.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
IMF Lending Tracker
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
United Nations Development Programme
_
CABRI Webinar


Central African Republic

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
5004 Source
Confirmed deaths
63 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
27 billion FCFA (USD 45 million or 1.9 % of GDP). This plan goes beyond an immediate response plan and contains measures to strengthen the ability of the healthcare system to deal with such pandemics in the future. It notably aims at: (i) providing medical care of confirmed cases; (ii) improving the monitoring of the country’s points of entry; and (iii) strengthening the capacities of the medical staff, laboratories and hospitals.
Official COVID-19 links

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
4,44
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
5,06%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
43%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
5,06%

Domestic and external financing
USD 6.9 million has been provided by the World Bank's COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project. This will finance activities related to preparedness, capacity building, and coordination, communication, community engagement, case management and response.

CAR is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon on debt servicing through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. On April 13, this debt service relief was announced to be USD 4.05 million (0.02% of GDP).

20 April: The IMF has extended credit to CAR through its Rapid Financing Instrument of USD 38 million (0.2% of GDP).

23 April: The World Bank approved a grant of USD 7.5 million (roughly 0.04% of GDP) from the International Development Association (IDA) to help the Central African Republic respond to the threat posed by the Coronavirus outbreak and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness.

On 2 June the African Development Bank granted USD13.55 million to support the CEMAC region.

9 July: Under the revised finance law, the CAR has prioritised CFAF 44 billion (USD 79 million, or approximately 3% of GDP) donor funds to additional support related to the pandemic.

On 24 July, the African Development Bank Board approved grant of USD 14.3 million (0.7% of GDP) to assist the CAR in its COVID-19 response.

On 1 September, the World Bank Board approved grant of USD 50 million (2.2% of GDP) as budget support to the Central African Republic's COVID-19 response component.

8 September: The CAR is participating in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space that may be created by the DSSI is USD 6.3 million or 0.3% of GDP. On November 10, the amount of debt relief offered under the DSSI to the CAR increased to USD 7.4 million or 0.33% of GDP.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On March 27, 2020, BEAC announced a set of monetary easing measures including a decrease of the policy rate by 25 bps to 3.25 %, a decrease of the Marginal Lending Facility rate by 100 bps to 5 %, a suspension of absorption operations, an increase of liquidity provision from FCFA 240 to 500 billion (USD 395 to 823 million), and a widening of the range of private instruments accepted as collateral in monetary operations. The MPC also supported BEAC’s management’s intent to propose to reduce haircuts applicable to private instruments accepted as collateral for refinancing operations, and to postpone by one-year principal repayment of consolidated central bank’s credits to member states, but these possible additional measures are not effective yet. On March 25, 2020, the COBAC informed banks that they can use their capital conservation buffers of 2.5 % to absorb pandemic-related losses but requested banks to adopt a restrictive policy with regard to dividend distribution. (Completed, 2020-05-07)

On 24 June, CEMAC decided on the interest rate for tenders (3.25%), the marginal loan facility rate (5%), and the reserve rates (7% on compulsory reserves, and 4.5% on short-term requirements).

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
25 June: A draft supplementary budget law is currently under discussion.

On 9 July, The Central African Republic approved a revised finance law.

2 September: The CAR has put into place the following expenditure measures as a means to finance COVID-19 related expenditure:
1. Reallocations of budgetary appropriations requiring parliamentary approval
2. Reprioritisation of expenditure between annual budgets
3. Across-the-board cuts to recurrent expenditure
4. Authorising ministries to use existing savings on COVID-19 needs
5. Channelling funds from contingency appropriations in the approved budget

2 September: The CAR has created a special COVID-19 budget line which aims to ensure rapid delivery of COVID-19 related goods and services

2 September: The following cash and liquidity management practices have been followed by the CAR government:
1. Cash has been consolidated in ways it has not been done previously
2. Borrowing programme adjustments have been made to provide bridging finance
3. Adjustments have been made to billing and purchase order requirements
4. Additional measures have been put in place to clear or prevent arrears

2 September: The remaining fiscal gap from COVID-19 expenditure is being financed by reducing and restructuring external debt in the CAR.

2 September: In the CAR, a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan has been drawn up with an indicative budget. Likewise, a Monitoring Committee has been set up under the supervision of the President of the Republic.

2 September: A COVID-19 strategic committee has been set up in the CAR, which is co-ordinated by the Presidency of the Republic

2 September: The Ministry of Finance in CAR has ensured business continuity by:
1. Relying on virtual networks for communications, and
2. Remotely executing the budget.

2 September: The CAR government has funded the production and distribution of 10 000 000 000 handmade facemasks across the country.

5 November: Although detail on this has not been published by the Ministry of Finance and the Budget in the CAR, the draft suppmentary budget law has been adopted by the CAR.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
2 September: The CAR has also provided insurance for frontline healthcare workers in the country so as to buffer the healthcare workforce in light of the pandemic.

30 September: CAR has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
28 April: The authorities intend to allow the fiscal deficit to increase to accommodate the bulk of the fiscal impact of the pandemic. To limit the resulting widening of the deficit, the authorities will seek to reduce by up to CFAF 6 billion (about 0.5% of GDP or USD 11 million) non-priority expenditures, such as missions and cultural activities that are already significantly reduced as part of the containment measures. They consider that the rest of the impact should be accommodated so as to allow their other considerable social, infrastructure, and security spending needs to be met.

Announced response plan for the health sector that was prepared in strong collaboration with the WHO, with an estimated cost of 27 billion of FCFA (1.9% of GDP or USD 49.5 million). This plan goes beyond an immediate response plan and contains measures to strengthen the ability of the healthcare system to deal with such pandemics in the future. It notably aims at: (i) providing medical care of confirmed cases; (ii) improving the monitoring of the country’s points of entry; and (iii) strengthening the capacities of the medical staff, laboratories and hospitals.

9 July: Under the revised finance law, the CAR has prioritised CFAF 44 billion (USD 79 million, or approximately 3% of GDP) donor funds to additional support related to the pandemic.

31 August: Beyond the originally announced response plan of USD 49.5 million, an additional CFAF 15 billion (1.25% of GDP or USD 26.5 million) has been allocated. Of that CFAF 15 billion, CFAF 12 billion (1% of GDP or USD 21 million) has been allocated to prevention and management of the pandemic, with CFAF 2.5 billion (USD 4.5 million or 0.21% of GDP) being allocated to support SMEs in the private sector, and the remaining CFAF 0.5 billion (USD 900 000 or 0.04% of GDP) being allocated to supporting vulnerable households.
Transparency, accountability and participation
20 April: As part of their commitment to the IMF, Government committed to conduct COVID-19- specific audit and publish results.

2 September: The CAR government has established dedicated budget lines to facilitate the monitoring of funds directed at COVID-19-related items.

Business support and tax measures
25 June: Specific fiscal measures to help the private sector, such as tax relief or suspension and easing of public procurement procedures, are being considered.

1 September: As of 31 August, additional government spending related to supporting businesses in light of COVID-19 amounted to USD 4.7 million (or 0.2% of GDP).
Financing social assistance and food relief
31 August: The additional spending related to COVID-19 social and household assistance amounts include CFAF 500 million (USD 0.9 million or 0.04% of GDP).

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
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African Health Stats
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
IMF Lending Tracker

Chad

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
3999 Source
Confirmed deaths
140 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
On 7 May, it was announced that financing for COVID-19 health-related expenditure will exceed the estimated CFAF 15 billion (USD 24 million or 0.3 % of non-oil GDP) and are expected to reach CFAF 31 billion (USD 51 million 0.6 % of non-oil GDP), which are being implemented under a national contingency plan.

30 August: Expenditure on a COVID-19 health-related response plan has been re-estimated at CFAF 42 billion (0.8% of non-oil GDP or USD 76 million).
Official COVID-19 links
https://sante-tchad.org/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
18
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
5,90%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
61%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
5,90%

Domestic and external financing
On 14 April, SDR 84.12 million (USD 114 million, or 1% of GDP) was provided by the IMF through its Rapid Credit Facility.

Chad is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon on debt servicing through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust.

29 April: The World Bank has agreed to a financing agreement with Chad of USD 16.95 million (equivalent to 0.15% of GDP).

28 April: The European Union has announced additional support to Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, of 194 million Euros. This comes after the EU pledged to mobilise 449 million Euros earlier on in April for the same 5 countries.

On 2 June the African Development Bank granted USD13.55 million to support the CEMAC region, and USD 330,000 to Chad.

9 June: The African Development Bank has approved grant funding of USD 20 million in response to the economic impact of Covid-19 for Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.

On 22 July, the African Development Bank approved, a budget support of USD 284.8 million to support the efforts of the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad) in the implementation of their response plans to the COVID-19 and economic recovery

8 September: Chad is participating in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space that may be created by the DSSI is USD 61 million (or 0.5% of GDP). On 10 November, the amount of debt relief offered to Chad was increased to USD 65.4 million or 0.6% of GDP.

2 October: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon to Chad on debt servicing through the second tranche of Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust for USD 2.82 million (or 0.3% of GDP).
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On March 24, 2020, BEAC announced that it will suspend its main absorption operations on the monetary market for the coming week in order to better assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on banking liquidity in CEMAC. However, banks with financing needs will be able to satisfy their requests at the marginal lending facility under the usual conditions. Further measures are expected to be taken following the Monetary Policy Committee meeting scheduled on March 27.

On March 27, 2020, BEAC announced a set of monetary easing measures including a decrease of the policy rate by 25 bps to 3.25 %, a decrease of the Marginal Lending Facility rate by 100 bps to 5 %, a suspension of absorption operations, an increase of liquidity provision from FCFA 240 to 500 billion (USD 395 to 823 million), and a widening of the range of private instruments accepted as collateral in monetary operations. The MPC also supported BEAC’s management’s intent to propose to reduce haircuts applicable to private instruments accepted as collateral for refinancing operations, and to postpone by one-year principal repayment of consolidated central bank’s credits to member states, but these possible additional measures are not effective yet. On March 25, 2020, the COBAC informed banks that they can use their capital conservation buffers of 2.5 % to absorb pandemic-related losses but requested banks to adopt a restrictive policy with regard to dividend distribution.

On 24 June, CEMAC decided on the interest rate for tenders (3.25%), the marginal loan facility rate (5%), and the reserve rates (7% on compulsory reserves, and 4.5% on short-term requirements).

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
A committee with special powers to make resource allocation decisions has been created.

28 August: Chad, like several other Francophone countries, has established special earmarked accounts, comptes d’affectation spéciale. On the revenue side, these accounts are meant to be funded primarily from resources outside the state budget, such as donations from individuals and firms and donor grants. On the spending side, they are usually subject to simplified, lighter-than-usual authorisation procedures, but still managed by the Treasury.

26 September: The national assembly adopted the law that establishes the solidarity fund for the vulnerable population amounting to CFAF 100 billion.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 August: Chad has simplified the processes of importing food and necessity items, including health equipment, in order to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, while also making these items tax exempt.

30 September: Chad has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

27 October: The Ministry of Finance in Chad published its budget accounts statement, which outlines changes in revenue and expenditure across all ministries in light of COVID-19.

5 November: As of the end of October, food and medical goods customs duties have been removed. This will continue to be the case until the end of 2020.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
23 April: while the recent increase in the wage bill will be offset by cuts in non-health-related goods and services and non-priority investment, health-related spending is expected to increase by 0.3% of non-oil GDP. In addition, transfers and subsidies are expected to increase by 0.2% of non-oil GDP as a result of new measures to help households. Overall 3% budget surplus will now turn into a deficit of -1.5% of non-oil GDP.

15 April: The authorities are in the process of hiring additional health workers (1600+, 1000 health workers have already been hired).

3 August: It was announced that the expected budget surplus of 3% of non-oil GDP in 2020 is now expected to turn into a deficit of 1.7% of non-oil GDP due to the impact of COVID-19.

30 September: The authorities are set to implement their pandemic preparedness plan. While no detail has yet been published on expenditure allocations of this plan, Chad's top priority is to substantially expand spending on healthcare in line with pandemic-related needs, trying to overcome to the greatest extent possible the healthcare system’s capacity constraints.

27 October: Revenues (excluding grants) are expected to decrease by 19%, due to a drop in oil revenue (-42%) and non-oil revenue (-20.3%) while grants increase by 76% (mostly from partners to curb the impact of COVID-19 in the country). On the expenditure side, public spending is expected to grow by 14% thanks to a current expenditure increase in transfers (27%) and wages (8%) -- mostly for Health sector-- in response to COVID-19, as well increase in capital expenditure (19%). Overall, the 3% budget surplus experienced pre-COVID will turn into a deficit of -1.7% of GDP at the end of the 2020/21 financial year.
Transparency, accountability and participation
6 August: The Goverment, under Decree N ° 0374 of March 24, 2020 created a special allocation account entitled "Special Fund for the fight against the Coronavirus" to keep separate accounts for COVID-19 expenses and provide separate reporting for the transparent management.

Business support and tax measures
15 April: Simplification of the import process for food and necessity items, including health equipment, and tax exemptions for these items.

7 May: For small and medium-sized enterprises, the authorities will reduce business license fees by 50% and the presumptive tax for 2020. Also, tax breaks such as carryforward losses and delays in tax payments will also be examined on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, domestic arrears of about CFAF 110 billion (approximately USD 183 million) owed to suppliers will be repaid.

11 May: The National Assembly adopted a new law that establishes a Youth Entrepreneurship Fund (0.6 percent of non-oil GDP).
Financing social assistance and food relief
15 April: Temporary suspension of payments of electricity and water bills for the lifeline consumption, the establishment of a Youth Entrepreneurship Fund (0.6 % of non-oil GDP), a food distribution program (0.5 % of non-oil GDP) which started already with the help of UN agencies.

15 April: Authorities and will set up a solidarity fund for the vulnerable population amounting to CFAF 100 billion (USD 166 million).

2 May: masks were distributed at no cost to those most susceptible to Covid-19, while the remainder of the population have been able to obtain masks at subsidized rates.

30 August: The national food distribution program has been bolstered by approximately 0.5% of non-oil GDP to assist in providing food parcels to vulnerable households in light of COVID-19.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
IMF Lending Tracker
_
Ministry of Health- Chad
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
The European Commission

Comoros

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
3578 Source
Confirmed deaths
144 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
7 May: The authorities have prepared a plan to minimise the risk of the pandemic, drawing on WHO recommendations. The cost of the plan is estimated at USD 2.2 million (or, 0.2% of GDP).
Official COVID-19 links
https://stopcoronavirus.km/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
17
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
3,63%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
73%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
3,63%

Domestic and external financing
Comoros is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon on debt servicing through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. This translated to debt relief of USD 1.33 million (0.1% of GDP).

22 April: the IMF has agreed to provide access to USD 4.05 million of rapid credit (0.3% of GDP), and a further USD 8.08 million (0.06% of GDP) of rapid financing instruments to Comoros.

March: UNDP has contributed a total of USD 10 million (roughly 0.9% of GDP) in Comoros' National effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. USD 567,000 of this contribution was reprioritized from existing projects, following a programme criticality exercise.

On 30 June, The African Development Bank approved USD 9.52 million (roughly 0.8% of GDP) to enhance coordinated COVID-19 response in the East and Horn of Africa, and the Comoros.

On 6 August, the World Bank approved USD 5 million (0.6% of GDP) of additional financing to strengthen health systems in the Comoros in response to COVID-19.

8 September: Comoros is participating in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space that may be created by the DSSI is USD 2.3 million or 0.3% of GDP.

2 October: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon to Comoros on debt servicing through the second tranche of Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust for USD 1.14 million (or 0.1% of GDP).

30 October: The government announced a program to support agriculture and tourism with USD 25 million (2% of GDP) financing from the World Bank.

10 November: The African Development Bank granted Comoros USD 20 million worth of budgetary support (of which, concessional loans amount to USD 4.32 million). This trsnslates to roughly 1.7% of GDP.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
The central bank reduced reserve requirements to 10 %. The authorities also announced a restructuring of commercial loans and freezing of interest rates in some commercial loans.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
A committee with special powers to make resource allocation decisions has been created.

30 September: Import taxes on food, medicines, and items related to hygiene were reduced by 30 percent.

30 September: A supplementary budget with additional budgetary allocations for addressing COVID is in process of approval by the parliament.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 May: SADC Member States have established National Emergency Operations Centres to facilitate coordination of logistics and stockpiling for disasters at the national level. The SADC Pooled Procurement Services for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies is being implemented to provide sustainable availability and access to affordable and effective essential medicine and health commodities, and Member States have been encouraged to utilise this facility for the procurement of the needed supplies for prevention, treatment and control of COVID-19 and any other epidemics.

30 September: Comoros has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
7 May: The authorities intend to raise spending on healthcare by 2% of GDP (reflected in higher current spending).

30 September: The authorities are implementing their pandemic preparedness plan. Their top priority is to substantially expand spending on health care in line with pandemic-related needs, trying to overcome to the greatest extent possible the health care system’s capacity constraints.
Transparency, accountability and participation
22 April: As part of their commitment to the IMF, Government committed to validate delivery of products and services; publish names of companies awarded contracts; publish beneficial ownership information of companies receiving COVID-19 procurement contracts; publish COVID-19 expenditure reports; and conduct COVID-19 specific audit and publish results and publish results.

Business support and tax measures
30 April: Import taxes on food, medicines, and items related to hygiene were reduced by 30%.

7 May: The authorities have delayed deadlines for tax filings from May to July.
Financing social assistance and food relief
30 April: The government announced a fund to support employees associated with airport operations.

7 May: The authorities intend to provide income support to SOE workers who have seen their hours reduced (at a cost of 0.1% of GDP, to be saved elsewhere in current spending, for example through civil service hiring restraint). To the extent possible within financing and implementation constraints, the authorities may also provide support to the poor through direct cash transfers (not factored into projections as this measure is not firmly planned). If impossible due to implementation constraints, the authorities may instead support poor communities through free water or electricity supplies.

4 June: In order to assist the state, The World Health Organisation (WHO) technical experts arrived in Comoros to assist the country's COVID-19 response. The expert team of epidemiologists, laboratory experts, pulmonologists, among others, will be supporting Comoran technicians in their efforts to fight the virus.

30 June: The government announced a fund to support employees associated with airport operations.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus

IMF Country Report

Cote d'Ivoire

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
32929 Source
Confirmed deaths
193 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
A Health Response Plan of 99 billion FCFA (USD 163 million, or 0.4% of GDP) has been adopted to break the chain of disease transmission, to guarantee the best care for the sick, isolate and track people who have been in contact with these patients and to continue efforts to keep populations safe. An Economic, Social and Humanitarian Support programme will also be implemented estimated at 1 700 billion FCFA (USD 2 billion), or about 5% of GDP.

31 August: Updated estimates suggest that the COVID-19 response plan is now set to cost 3.4% of GDP (equivalent to roughly USD 2.1 billion) in 2020 alone.
Official COVID-19 links
http://www.gouv.ci/_grandossier.php?recordID=222

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
42
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
4,88%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
40%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
4,88%

Domestic and external financing
17 April: the IMF has also offered rapid credit and rapid financing instruments to Côte d'Ivoire of USD 295.4 million and USD 590.8 million (0.69 and 1.37% of GDP) respectively.

On 5 May, The World Bank and the Government of Côte d'Ivoire signed USD 35 million (less than 0.01% of GDP) credit agreement from the International Development Association (IDA)* to scale up efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic (Coronavirus) in the country, supplementing the USD 40 million provided under the Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) of the Strategic Purchasing and Alignment of Resources and Knowledge in Health Project, bringing the total financing allocated by the World Bank to Côte d'Ivoire’s COVID-19 emergency measures to USD 75 million.

9 June: The African Development Bank has approved grant funding of USD 88.8 million (roughly 0.2% of GDP) in response to the economic impact of COVID-19 for Cote d'Ivoire.

14 June: 75 million Euro approved by the African Development Bank in COVID-19 emergency relief packages.

28 August: 4 COVID-19 funds have been established under a Presidential decree states that, after its dissolution, the net assets of the fund shall be remitted to any structure assigned to continue its mission or to a major public financial corporation.These 4 funds are the National Solidarity Fund of 170 billion CFAF (0.5 % of GDP), the Support Fund for the informal sector of 100 billion CFAF (0.3 % of GDP), the Support Fund for the small and medium enterprises of 150 billion CFAF (0.4 % of GDP) and the Support Fund for large companies of 100 billion CFAF (0.3 % of GDP).

10 September: Côte d'Ivoire is participating in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space that may be created by the DSSI is USD 232.1 million or 0.5% of GDP. On November 10, the amount of debt suspension was revised downward slightly to 0.4% of GDP or USD 225 million.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On March 21: The Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) announced the following measures: i) providing XOF 340 billion (USD 589 million) of additional liquidity made available to the banks by weekly and monthly auctions up to XOF 4 750 billion (USD 8.2 billion) ; ii) extending the collateral framework to access the BCEAO's refinancing to include XOF 1,050 billion (USD 1.8 billion) of bank debt of prequalified 1,700 private companies; iii) setting-up of a framework with the banking system to support firms with repayment difficulties.

On March 25: Further measures include: i) allocation of XOF 25 billion to the trust fund of the West African Development Bank (BOAD), in order to increase the amount of confessional loans to eligible countries to finance urgent investment and equipment expenses; ii) communicating of the special program for refinancing bank credits granted to SMEs; iii) initiating negotiations with firms issuing electronic money to encourage its usage; iv) ensuring adequate provision of banknotes for satisfactory ATM operations.

To promote the use of electronic payment tools the Western Africa Central Bank (BCEAO) is providing more flexible measures to open a mobile money and making transfers between people backed by electronic money free.

7 May: In addition, the BCEAO launched a special 3-month refinancing window at a fixed rate of 2.5 % for limited amounts of 3-month "Covid-19 T-Bills" to be issued by each WAEMU sovereign to help meet funding needs related to the current pandemic.

On 22 June, the BCEAO announced that it had decreased the tender operations rate from 2.5% to 2%, and that the interest rate on marginal loan windows was reduced to 4% from 4.5%.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
On April 27, Heads of states of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) declared a temporary suspension of the WAEMU convergence criteria, including the 3 % of GDP fiscal deficit rule, to help member countries cope with the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing member countries to raise fiscal deficits temporarily.

28 August: specific procedures for providing financial support to private and public companies from the COVID-19 fund have been set.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 June: Exemption of import duties and taxes on health equipment, materials and other health inputs used in the fight against COVID-19.

30 September: Cote d'Ivoire has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

5 November: Tariffs have been reduced on importing pharmaceutical products and medicines into the country, while an export embargo on hand sanitisers is also put in place.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
A special fund has been set up to finance the health response to which Government has contributed CFAF 25 billion.
Transparency, accountability and participation
3 April: The suspension of tax audits procedures for a three-month period

Business support and tax measures
30 April: Tax audits have been suspended for a period of three months. Penalties for delays in the execution of public contracts and orders with the State have been suspended.

On 31 March, the government announced it will provide relief to hard-hit sectors and firms, and support public entities in the transport and port sectors to ensure continuity in supply chains. In this regard, the authorities created 4 special funds to be spent over 2 years, including the National Solidarity Fund of 170 billion CFAF (0.5 % of GDP), the Support Fund for the informal sector of 100 billion CFAF (0.3 % of GDP), the Support Fund for the small and medium enterprises of 150 billion CFAF (0.4 % of GDP) and the Support Fund for large companies of 100 billion CFAF (0.3 % of GDP). They will also provide financial support to the agriculture sector of 300 billion CFAF (0.8 % of GDP). Support of CFAF 250 billion for cashew, cotton, rubber, oil palm, cocoa and coffee will be provided. Support of 50 billion FCFA for food, vegetable and fruit production will be provided.

30 April: Corporate income tax, levies and social charges will be postponed for three months for affected businesses. The transport license fee will be reduced by 25%. VAT credits will be reimbursed within two weeks.

6 May: The Council has adopted an ordinance that cancels the late penalties to be paid by holders of public contracts and other State orders, from 06 April to 06 July 2020, in order to help companies to safeguard the production tool and jobs.

9 April: Creation of two funds: a Support Fund for Large Enterprises (XOF 100 billion = USD 170 million) and a Support Fund for SMEs (XOF 150 billion = USD 254 million).

9 April: Creation of a specific fund to support informal sector enterprises affected by the crisis for an amount of XOF 100 billion (USD 170 million).

6 May: cancellation of the late penalties to be paid by holders of public contracts, from 06 April to 06 July 2020, in order to help companies to safeguard their production tool and jobs.

3 September: The emergency funding programme for the agriculture sector (PURGA), which is run by the government in the country, has distributed seeds, fertilizer and agriculture equipment to farmers in the various regions across the country who have been impacted by COVID-19.

7 October: Loan guarantee measures and subsidiy interventions for farmers under PURGA have amounted to CFAF 34 billion (USD 61.6 million, or roughly 0.1% of GDP)
Financing social assistance and food relief
30 March: Payment deadlines for electricity and water bills have been postponed and payment facilities will be offered. Electricity and water bills for poorest households will be covered.

On 31 March, the government announced a package of economic measures to prop the income of the most vulnerable segments of the population through agricultural input support and expanded cash transfers.

10 June: A total of 72,498 beneficiaries, representing 40.9% of the target of 177,198 vulnerable households targeted by the transitional phase, benefited from FSS support.

16 October: The government provided PPE across five regions in the country to hospitals and indviduals worth FCAF 2 billion (USD 3.7 million- less than 0.01% of GDP).

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
ILO Coronavirus Country responses
_
PWC
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
The World Bank

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
26050 Source
Confirmed deaths
711 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
1 May: A preparedness and response national plan is estimated at USD 138 million (0.3% of GDP) aimed at strengthening the medical response that includes the creation of a COVID-19 response team, setting up specialized wards in public hospitals to cater for COVID-19 patients, procurement of
essential medical supplies, and training of medical personnel.

2 May: UNICEF estimates that USD 58 million (0.12% of GDP) is required for an immediate response within its areas of responsibility.

10 April: The Relief Web response plan to COVID-19 estimates that the total humanitarian response financial requirement is USD 431 million (0.9% of GDP).
Official COVID-19 links
https://www.stopcoronavirusrdc.info/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
4,23
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
3,73%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
37%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
3,73%

Domestic and external financing
Under the World Bank's COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Project USD 47 million (or, 0.1% of GDP) has been provided to fund the emergency response to the COVID-19 epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The US Government has provided USD 6 million (less than 0.01% of GDP) in humanitarian funding to the Democratic Republic of Congo to fight COVID-19 pandemic.

DRC is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (USD 20.32 million- roughly 0.04% of GDP- of debt has been relieved).

30 April: The IMF has approved an immediate disbursement to the DRC of USD 363.3 million (approximately 0.8% of GDP) as a means to support the country through the pandemic.

1 May: A special fund has been established to collect tax-deductible contributions from the private sector.

2 May: UNICEF have allocated USD 5 million (less than 0.01% of GDP) to meet critical needs while they work to secure USD 58 million (0.12% of GDP) to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

On 2 June the African Development Bank granted USD 13.55 million to support the CEMAC region. USD 1.22 million (less than 0.01% of GDP) was granted to DRC.

8 September: The DRC is participating in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space that may be created by the DSSI is USD 104.4 million or 0.3% of GDP. On November 10, the amount of debt suspension was revised upward to 0.5% of GDP or USD 156.3 million.

2 October: As part of its CCRT, the IMF released a second tranche of debt relief to the DRC of USD 13.96 million (roughly 0.03% of GDP).

7 October: The African Development Bank has approved a disbursement of USD 100 million (0.2% of GDP) of grant funding and USD 42 million (0.09% of GDP) in concessional loan form.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
The Central Bank of the Congo cut its base interest rate to 7.5% from 9.0% in order to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. It will also cut mandatory reserve requirements and provide liquidity to banks

15 April: Postponement of requirement for banks to have capital equivalent to USD 50 Million to 1 January 2022.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
On 18 August, the central bank (BCC), the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Budget formally signed a Stability Pact, which sets a number of policy and operational commitments by those institutions that would contribute to maintaining “macroeconomic stability, as a prerequisite for strong and sustained growth", in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

2 September: The DRC has put into place the following expenditure measures as a means to finance COVID-19 related expenditure:
1. Reprioritisation of expenditure between annual budgets
2. Across-the-board cuts to capital expenditure

2 September: The DRC has made extra-budgetary funds available to ensure rapid delivery of COVID-19 related goods and services

2 September: The following cash and liquidity management practices have been followed by the DRC government:
1. Emergency meetings of cash management committees have taken place.
2. Additional petty cash payments to operational bank accounts of line ministries have been made.

2 September: The remaining fiscal gap from COVID-19 expenditure is being financed by the use of concessional loans and grants from donors and international financial institutions in the DRC.

2 September: In the DRC, an interministerial committee has been commissioned to assist in developing responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

30 September: Specific procedures have been introduced for the payment of bonuses to health personnel from the COVID-19 fund.

30 September: In the context of sustained increases in inflation and exchange rate depreciation, on August 18 the central bank (BCC), the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Budget formally signed a Stability Pact, which sets a number of policy and operational commitments by those institutions that would contribute to maintaining “macroeconomic stability, as a prerequisite for strong and sustained growth”
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 May: Emergency clearance of inputs and pharmaceuticals products.

30 May: SADC Member States have established National Emergency Operations Centres to facilitate coordination of logistics and stockpiling for disasters at the national level. The SADC Pooled Procurement Services for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies is being implemented to provide sustainable availability and access to affordable and effective essential medicine and health commodities, and Member States have been encouraged to utilise this facility for the procurement of the needed supplies for prevention, treatment and control of COVID-19 and any other epidemics.

2 September: Pooled procurement policies regarding healthcare financing and purchasing processes have been implemented in the DRC.

30 September: DRC has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

30 September: Hospitals selected for COVID-19 treatment have a contract with the government to guarantee service provision by hospitals and the reimbursement of costs by the government.

5 November: The government of the DRC has announced a suspension of all import duties on medical products for 6 months
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
1 May: Given spending pressures from the free education initiative and delays in revenue reforms, the authorities intend to contain spending to limit the projected financing gap in 2020 to the impact of the COVID- 19 and avoid an increase in the stock of advances from the central bank. To that effect, current spending excluding wages would fall by about 2% of GDP relative to 2019, supported by the reallocation of expenditures and a 30% cut in the operating budget of ministries and public institutions. This will not affect the budget contribution to vaccination programs, which will continue to be supported by the government.

1 May: The authorities intend also to request transfers from unused revenue of extrabudgetary funds to the central government’s budget and to review the composition of expenditures to reallocate resources to priority sectors.

5 November: Although the budget is yet to be released, the minsiter of finance alluded to the fact that the budget in the Democratic Republic of Congo would be slashed by USD 6.8 billion (close to 14% of GDP). It is expected that this slash will be across the board, weakening health financing prospects inter alia. This drastic cut in expenditure is due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the already weakened economy.

5 November: Although the budget is yet to be released, the Minsiter of Finance alluded to the fact that the budget in the Republic of Congo would be slashed by USD 6.8 billion (close to 14% of GDP). It is expected that this slash will be across the board, weakening health financing prospects inter alia. This drastic cut in expenditure is due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the already weakened economy.
Transparency, accountability and participation
1 May: The authorities committed to produce a revised 2020 treasury plan reflecting the expected impact of the pandemic and the additional resources from development partners and to publish budget execution figures contained in the treasury plan on a monthly basis to enhance financial transparency. The authorities have committed to publish online all COVID-19 related procurement contracts that exceed a certain value (and disclose beneficial ownership information for the contracts exceeding USD 1 million), and will undertake and publish an internal monthly audit and a specific audit of COVID-19 related expenditures as part of the annual control of the Audit Court (LOI).

2 August: The Deputy Health Minister, Albert M’peti Biyombo, is reported to have leaked a letter to the Prime Minister in which he accused Cabinet members of receiving kickbacks on contracts for the coronavirus response, while health workers went unpaid for months. He claimed that a “mafia network”, which is taking kickbacks of up to 35% off contracts for supplies, is embezzling Covid-19 funds.

2 September: The government of the DRC has established a supervisory committee for the financing of COVID-19 related expenditures.

Business support and tax measures
30 March: Exemption for six months from all taxes, duties, levies and royalties on import and sale of pharmaceutical inputs and products as well as medical materials and equipment.

30 March: Suspension for three months of the application of penalties for delays in the customs clearance of basic goods and necessities; Suspension for three months for the payment of rental income tax due by companies; Support to the relaunching of economic activities by means of zero-interest financing from the Industrial Promotion Fun; Suspension for three months of certain tax, parafiscal and economic audits.

19 April: the following measures were approved by the Prime Minister:i) a three-month VAT exemption on pharmaceutical products and basic goods, ii) suspension of tax audits for companies, iii) a grace period for businesses on tax arrears, iv) full tax deductibility of any donations made to the COVID relief fund.


22 April: Reduction of corporate tax rate for 2020, from 30% to 28%. Reduction in the Flat-rate Global Tax, from 2020, from 7% to 5% of the annual turnover excluding taxes for operators selling products with free margin from 10% to 8% of the annual global margin excluding taxes for operators selling products at regulated prices and with controlled margins. These provisions are applicable to operators who keep accounts according to the Minimum Cash System (SMT). Tax exemption of 100% granted to donations made to fight against COVID-19.
Financing social assistance and food relief
On 19 April, the government of the DRC implemented the following protocols: i) provision of water and electricity for a period of two months to citizens, free of charge, and ii) prohibition to evict renters in case of no payment of financial obligations from March to June 2020.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
World Bank
_
Anadolu Agency
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
Ministry of Finance DRC

IMF Country Report
_
Relief Web

Djibouti

Tests p/million
5421
Confirmed cases
6089 Source
Confirmed deaths
63 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
21 May: Health and other priority expenditure of approximately USD 75 million (2.4% of GDP) will be necessary to address the health and economic and social consequences of COVID-19.
Official COVID-19 links
https://www.presidence.dj/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
56
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
3,10%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
26%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
3,10%

Domestic and external financing
An Emergency and Solidarity Fund COVID-19 has been established to cover patient care and purchase of healthcare equipment. It will also serve as a national body of financial solidarity for the most vulnerable demographic components and those working in the private sector. 1 billion Djibouti Francs (USD 1.7 million, or less than 0.01% of GDP) has been injected by government and will be complemented by funds from international partners and reallocation of budgeted funds. It is also open to goodwill donation and will have its main account at the Central Bank and will have secondary accounts in various banking establishments..

2 April: The World bank approved credit to Djibouti of USD 5 million (0.01% of GDP) through the International Development Association.

8 May: The IMF has provided access to USD 43.4 million in from its Rapid Credit Facility to Djibouti. The IMF has also offered debt relief of USD 2.3 million (less than 0.01% of GDP) through its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust.

17 May: The European Union is providing 500 000 Euros (or less than 0.01% of GDP) to Djibouti, to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

24 July: The African Development Bank has approved grant funding of USD 41.2 million (1.3% of GDP) in response to the economic impact of COVID-19 for Djibouti

26 August: The United States is providing COVID-19 related funding assistance through the State Department and USAID. Nearly USD 3.3 million (or 0.11% of GDP) in total will be assigned to Djibouti, including USD2.5 million (or 0.08% of GDP) in ESF to address the second-order impacts of the pandemic.

8 September: Djibouti is participating in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space that may be created by the DSSI is USD 59.2 million or 1.6% of GDP.

2 October: The IMF has approved a second tranche of debt relief through the Catastrophe Containment and Refielf Trust (CCRT) of USD 2.38 million (or 0.08% of GDP))

On 10 November, the DSSI was revised downwards to the amount of USD 56.8 million (or 1.7% of GDP)

18 November: A project (AF) has been propsed that will build on the parent project’s design and scale up the World Bank’s support to the government’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Specifically, the proposed AF will finance the procurement of key medical equipment, laboratories test kits, and medical supplies.This project will primarily target the education and health sectors of Djibouti. The cost of the project reflects USD 940 000 (or 0.03% of GDP).
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
7 May: Financial sector analysis has been stepped up as a means to assess the correct monetary policy intervention to be made by the Central Bank of Djibouti.

To address the urgent balance of payments needs, the authorities have requested support under the Rapid Credit Facility’s (RCF) exogenous shock window in the amount of 100 percent of quota (SDR 31.8 million), to be channelled to the budget to help finance pandemic-related health and other priority expenditure. They have also asked for debt relief under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) for amounts falling due to the Fund in the 24-month period through April 13, 2022 (SDR 6.03 million), subject to resource availability. Staff supports these requests. The authorities are also seeking additional financing from other partners.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 September: Djibouti has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
21 May: The government has scaled up healthcare and other emergency spending and to support families and firms affected by the outbreak (2.4% of GDP). Additional spending is primarily channeled through existing programs.0.9% of GDP in capital spending has been cut compared to the initial budget.
Transparency, accountability and participation
4 May: The authorities are committed to undertake an ex-post audit of COVID-19 expenditure and to subject them to enhanced public disclosure, including by publishing large procurement contracts (above USD 100 000) and the beneficial ownership of selected firms on the Ministry of Budget’s website and commission an independent ex-post audit of COVID-19-related spending in about a year’s time and publish the results

4 September: Djibouti has engaged in the following measures to ensure transparency, accountability, and participation in light of COVID-19 related spending and PFM measures, the country has; (i) Been committed to publishing COVID-19 procurement contracts; (ii) Publishing beneficial ownership information of companies receiving contracts; (iii) Undergone specific COVID-19 external audits, findings of which will be made publically available.

Business support and tax measures
15 April: The Emergency and Solidarity Fund will support the private sector.

26 August: Funding from the USA, USD 3.3 million (or 11.16% of GDP) in total, will be used to help preserve and create new livelihoods through increased economic viability, digital adaptations and innovation of micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises, start-ups, civil-society organizations (CSOs) and the self-employed.
Financing social assistance and food relief
15 April: The Emergency and Solidarity Fund will support vulnerable people.

5 November: Additional support has been provided to vulnerable households, so far this support has been in the form of food vouchers.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
Presidential Website- Djibouti
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus

IMF Country Report

Egypt

Tests p/million
244
Confirmed cases
183591 Source
Confirmed deaths
10778 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
20 May: The government recently has announced 1 billion EGP (USD 63.5 million or 0.03% of GDP) in extra funding for its health services and applied various measures to increase the country’s capacity to absorb the sudden increase of critical patients that the outbreak might bring.
Official COVID-19 links

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
151
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
4,22%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
62%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
4,22%

Domestic and external financing
The government has announced stimulus policies in the USD 6.4 billion package (EGP 100 billion, 2 % of GDP) to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19.

On 22 March, the government announced it would allocate USD 1.27 billion (roughly 0.5% of GDP) to support the stock exchange.

On 20 March, the World Bank activated the Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) under the “Transforming Egypt’s Healthcare System Project”. USD 7.9 million (less than 0.01% of GDP) has been provided to fund emergency response activities related to the COVID-19 outbreak in Egypt.

May 11: The IMF has released USD 2.8 billion (1.2% of GDP) to Egypt through its Rapid Financing Instrument.

On May 25, the African Development Bank approved a USD 500 000 (less than 0.01% of GDP) emergency assistance grant to Egypt to provide food relief, and to contribute to restoring the livelihoods of vulnerable populations severely affected by COVID 19.

19 May: Large capital outflows have resulted in a drawdown of reserves to avoid excessive exchange rate volatility from the severe turbulence in financial markets.

11 May: The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved Egypt’s request for emergency financial assistance of SDR 2,037.1 million (USD 2.772 billion, 100% of quota) under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to meet the urgent balance of payments needs stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Purchase under the RFI entails exceptional access due to outstanding credit under the previous extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility.

27 June: IMF approves USD 5.2 billion (or 2,1% of GDP) loan, under a 12-month Stand-by Arrangement (SBA), for Egypt against COVID-19.

5 November: Egyptian authorities have formed a new guarantee fund of EGP 2 billion (USD 128 million or 0.05% of GDP).

30 November: USD 5 billion sovereign Eurobond and a USD 0.75 billion sovereign Green-bond were issued and a USD 2 billion loan agreement signed with a UAE-led commercial bank consortium.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
The central bank has reduced the policy rate by 300 basis points (3%).

The preferential interest rate on loans to SMEs, industry, tourism and housing for low-income and middle-class families, has been reduced from 10 % to 8 %.

The limit for electronic payments via mobile phones has been raised to EGP 30 000/day (USD 1 900) and EGP 100 000/month (USD 6 334) for individuals, and to EGP 40 000/day (USD 2 540) and EGP 200 000/per week (USD 12668) for corporations.

A new debt relief initiative for individuals at risk of default has also been announced, that will waive marginal interest on debt under EGP 1 million (USD 64,200) if customers make a 50 % payment.

The regulations issued last year requiring banks to obtain detailed information of borrowers have been relaxed.

The central bank has also launched an EGP 20 billion (USD1,3 million) stock-purchase programme.

May 14: Capital outflows from the country have induced large exchange rate volatility. In order to curb this, the central bank of the country has drawn down foreign exchange reserves in order to prop up the exchange rate.

On 14 May, it was announced that all central bank policy rates would remain unchanged given the large change to its policy rates in March.

30 June: The Egyptian central bank published that M2 money supply growth accelerated to 17.24% year-on-year in May. The money supply stood at 4.45 trillion Egyptian pounds (USD 276.6 billion). Year-on-year money supply growth in April was 15.62%.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
18 June: Egypt's budget deficit has reached 6.3%, and is expected to increase to 7.5% on the back of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait.

30 June: All ministries will set an expenditure rationing plan to offset the economic impact of the pandemic.

30 September: Egypt is currently working on several upside and downside macro-fiscal scenarios around a central baseline.

30 September: Egypt plans to revise its fiscal risk statement to account for the impact of COVID-19.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 June: The procurement fee of medical equipment and drugs used in treating Covid-19 has been canceled.

30 September: Egypt has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

1 January: Egypt intends to buy 40 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, and had already received 50,000 doses of the vaccine in December and is expecting another 50,000 in the second or third week of January.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
To support the healthcare sector, EGP 3.8 billion has been allocated, targeted at providing urgent and necessary medical supplies, and disbursing bonuses for medical staff working in quarantine hospitals and labs.

The government has announced stimulus policies in the USD 6.4 billion package (EGP 100 billion, 2% of GDP) to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19.

On 22 March, the government announced it would allocate USD 1.27 billion to support the stock exchange.

On 7 May, the Egyptian Minister of Finance stated that the budget for the new fiscal year would allocate a further USD 6.35 million to raise wages and pensions in light of the economic impact of Covid-19.

18 June: Egypt's budget deficit has reached 6.3%, and is expected to increase to 7.5% on the back of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait.

27 June: Government employees will receive an annual increase of 7-12% costing a total of USD1.8 million.

30 June: The 2021 budget has an allocation of EGP 258.5 billion for health, with an increase of EGP 83.2 billion (47%) compared to last fiscal year. EGP 11 billion has been allocated to support the health sector and disburse incentive bonuses for medical staff and workers in quarantine outlets, isolation hospitals, central laboratories and their branches in governorates, central work teams and their assistants, epidemiological surveillance teams and ambulance agency.

30 November: The budget deficit is estimated to have widened to LE476.8 billion, equivalent to 8.2% of the projected GDP in fiscal year 2020, up from 8.1% of GDP in fiscal year 2019. This was mainly driven by the decline in the tax-to-GDP ratio and exacerbated by economic contraction and postponed tax payments.
Transparency, accountability and participation
30 November: As part of the recently launched Budget Transparency series with UNICEF, fiscal measures taken by the government to address the negative effects of the pandemic have been highlighted and publicised.

Business support and tax measures
30 April: The moratorium on the tax law on agricultural land has been extended for 2 years.

30 April: The stamp duty on transactions and tax on dividends have been reduced.

30 April: Capital gains tax has been postponed until further notice.

30 April: Withholding tax imposed on dividend distributions made by EGX listed companies has been reduced from 10% to 5% in Egypt.

30 April: Tax breaks for industrial and tourism businesses have been enacted.

30 April: The cost of electricity and natural gas to industries has been reduced.

30 April: As part of the EGP 100 billion (USD6,3 million) stimulus, EGP 50 billion (USD 3,2 million) has been announced for the tourism sector.

30 April: Suspension of credit score blacklists for irregular clients and waiver of court cases for defaulted customers have been announced.

30 April: Individuals filing their incomes tax online will not be charged the subscription fee of the online tax filing portal.

8 September: A Corona tax of 1% has been levied on all public and private sector salaries, and 0,5% on state pensions. The proceeds of the Corona Tax will be earmarked for sectors and SMEs most affected by the pandemic. Real estate tax relief has been provided for industrial and tourism sectors; and subsidy pay-out for exporters has been stepped up, discount on fuel price has been announced for the aviation sector.

5 November: The moratorium on various tax laws have been extended and tax on certain earnings have been reduced, while certain taxes have been postponed until further notice.

5 November: A new guarantee fund of EGP 2 billion (USD 128 million or 0.05% of GDP) has been formed to partly guarantee consumer finance companies, among other intiatives. To support medical professionals, including doctors working in university hospitals, a 75% allowance over the wages has been announced. Energy costs have been lowered for the entire industrial sector; real estate tax relief has been provided for industrial and tourism sectors; and subsidy pay-out for exporters has been stepped up, discount on fuel price has been announced for the aviation sector. The moratorium on the tax law on agricultural land has been extended for 2 years. The stamp duty on transactions and tax on dividends have been reduced. Capital gains tax has been postponed until further notice. As part of the EGP 100 billion stimulus (USD 6,4 billion or 2.5% of GDP), EGP 50 billion (USD3,2 billion or 1.3% of GDP) has been announced for the tourism sector, which contributes close to 12% of Egypt’s GDP, 10% of employment, and almost 4% of GDP in terms of receipts, as of 2019.
Financing social assistance and food relief
15 April: Pensions have been increased by 14 %.

15 April: A targeted support initiative for irregular workers in most severely hit sectors has been announced, which will entail EGP 500 (USD 32) in monthly grants for 3 months.

7 May: To support medical professionals, including doctors working in university hospitals, a 75 % allowance over the wages has been announced.

7 May: A new debt relief initiative for individuals at risk of default has also been announced, that will waive marginal interest on debt under EGP 1 million ( USD 64,200) if customers make a 50 % payment.

7 May: The Ministry of Social Solidarity is planning to add 60,000 families to Takaful and Karama programs; also, increased payments are envisioned for women leaders in rural areas (EGP 900 per month (USD57) instead of EGP 350 (USD22)).

30 June: In coordination with non-governmental institutions, the Egyptian Food Bank is in cooperation with local/governorate level and the Ministry of Social Solidarity to distribute food rations in various governorates.

8 September: A consumer spending initiative of close to EGP 10 billion (USD 633 million or 0.25% of GDP) has been launched to offer citizens two-year, low-interest loans to pay for consumer goods discounted by up to 10-25 percent and provide ration card subsidies. A new guarantee fund of EGP 2 billion (USD 127 million or 0.05% of GDP) has been formed to guarantee mortgages and consumer loans made by banks and consumer finance companies.

5 November: A new guarantee fund of EGP 2 billion (USD 128 million or % of GDP) has been formed to partly guarantee guarantee mortgages and consumer loans made by banks, among other things.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
Ugo Gentilini
_
PWC
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
Central Bank of Egypt
_
The World Bank
_
Egypt Today

Equatorial Guinea

Tests p/million
609
Confirmed cases
6095 Source
Confirmed deaths
92 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
30 April: The government has begun discussions on the National Covid-19 Emergency Response Plan. Estimates suggest that this plan is expected to cost XAF 5 billion (USD 8.5 million or 0.06% of GDP).

31 August: A broad emergency health spending package (1% of GDP or USD 130 million) has been tabled in Equatorial Guinea, and aims to improve hospital preparedness to respond to local COVID-19 transmission.
Official COVID-19 links
https://www.guineaecuatorialpress.com/buscador.php?cat=10005

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
197
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
2,59%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
73%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
2,59%

Domestic and external financing
Focus will be given to strengthening tax administration.

Parking lots at the Malabo and Bata airports are due to be nationalised.

Oil and Gas companies are required to pay CIT for 2019 by the end of April and the MMH and MFEP have been empowered to lead the negotiations.

THE NATIONAL CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY FUND- 19 is created to raise Economic and Financial Funds to combat the spread of the Coronavirus Pandemic in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. The government committed to contribute USD10 million to the special emergency fund. Accounts will be opened in national banks for the entry of voluntary contributions called the National Emergency Fund CORONAVIRUS- 19. Any other aid from external sources - country governments, friends, economic institutions and humanitarian organisations - will also be contributed to the Fund.

April: the UNDP has drafted a support package for Equatorial Guinea of USD 650 000 (less than 0.01% of GDP).

28 May: UNICEF has begun the process of providing funding to Equatorial Guinea of USD 1.6 million (0.01% of GDP)
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On March 24, 2020, BEAC announced that it will suspend its main absorption operations on the monetary market for the coming week in order to better assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on banking liquidity in CEMAC. However, banks with financing needs will be able to satisfy their requests at the marginal lending facility under the usual conditions. Further measures are expected to be taken following the Monetary Policy Committee meeting scheduled on March 27.

On 24 June, CEMAC decided on the interest rate for tenders (3.25%), the marginal loan facility rate (5%), and the reserve rates (7% on compulsory reserves, and 4.5% on short-term requirements).

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
30 June: Enabled a special unit for the promotion of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) contracts in basic public services such as: water, sanitation, electricity and communication.

On 27 October, an interministerial council met to table and subsequently pass the Amended General Budgets Preliminary Bill for 2020. While the document has not been published, it is expected to detail reprioritisations made in light of COVID-19, inter alia.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 September: Equatorial Guinea has submitted non-binding confirmations of intent to participate in the COVAX Facility, a Gavi-coordinated pooled procurement mechanism for new COVID-19 vaccines. Equatorial Guinea would be able to use the mechanism to buy and procure COVID-19 vaccines at the cheaper prices Gavi has negotiated — but the country would have to allow COVAX to procure and buy the vaccines on its behalf.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
On 31 March, Decree No 43/2020 was adopted to finance the General State Budget, mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on economic activity and vulnerable populations. It ensure the financing of the 2020/21 budget through bilateral and multilateral financing and rationalising of public expenditure and slowing down execution of non-priority expenditures. The decree ensures the financing of the Plan to Strengthen the National Public Health System. The 2020 Budget will be adjusted to prioritise the most affected ministerial departments, specially Health, Social Affairs, Civil Aviation and National Security.The Government will reprogram public investment expenditures to the second half of the fiscal year to avoid accumulation of arrears.

In March, the government deployed an initial health spending plan (0.07 % of GDP) focused mainly on prevention. In April, the government broadened emergency health spending (0.3 % of GDP), mainly to improve hospital preparedness to respond to local transmission.

30 August: The government in Equatorial Guinea has postponed the execution of non-priority capital expenditures, identifying savings to non-wage current expenditures, urging public enterprises to cut personnel costs as well as continuing the implementation of plans to strengthen the tax administration in the country.
Transparency, accountability and participation
On 21 May, an inter-ministerial council met and discussed the passing of the "Draft Law on the Prevention and Fight against Corruption". In it, various ministries proposed various regulatory and structural changes which would improve the transparency of, inter alia, financial reporting in the country, especially in light of Covid-19.

On 10 November, the Senate Table in Equatorial Guinea tabled a draft law on the "Prevention and Fight Against Coruption". Although this document has yet to be published, it is expected that COVID-related corruption matters will be outlined and potential solutions to these matters will be suggested.

Business support and tax measures
The deadline for payment of the minimum income tax (MIT) for the year 2020 shall be extended until June.
The period for voluntary payment of the liquidation resulting from corporate income tax for the year 2019 is extended to July.
The MIT is also reduced from 3% to 1.5% for the year 2020, until 30 September 2020.

Decree No 43/2020 also offers non-fiscal incentives to SMEs in the non-oil sector, including reducing electricity, internet payments

Donations for the Partial Guarantee Fund for affected SMEs will be increased by XAF 1 billion (USD 1,64 million).

Companies involved in food distribution and all companies that hire new employees to reinforce their workforce
to comply with the standards established by the health authorities will receive a bonus of 100% of the
Social Security contributions until September 30th, 2020.

May 7: SMEs and households, in light of Covid-19, have faced reduced electricity bills

31 August: The government has withheld tax rate changes, and delayed tax payment deadlines for small and medium-sized firms, while reducing electricity bills for firms affected by the COVID crisis as well.
Financing social assistance and food relief
7 May: Decree No 43/2020 ensures financing of the Basic Social Guarantees Program. The Program will guarantee: (I) basic food and basic necessities for identified households, (II) a basic personal and household hygiene kit for identified groups; (III) social support consisting of counseling and psychological and health support. The social assistance scheme also includes measures to ensure continuity of education.

7 May: SMEs and households, in light of Covid-19, have faced reduced electricity bills.

21 May: Delegates from the South korean government donated clinical materials to the Ministry for Health and Social Welfare in Equatorial Guinea in order to aid its fight against Covid-19.

28 May: The government of Equatorial Guinea, with the help of UNICEF, has started distributing basic food and personal hygiene kits to vulnerable families, with the hopes of reaching 12 000 families.

On 25 June, the presidency distributed 4 million face masks to individuals across the country.

31 August: A social assistance scheme (0.3% of GDP or roughly USD 40 million) has been approved and initiated for the most vulnerable and will be expanded gradually to cover approximately 15 percent of the population of Equatorial Guinea.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
Africa Health Stats
_
African Union
_
UNDP COVID-19 Response
_
EY
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
Official Twitter Account of the Ministry of Finance, Economy and Planning of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

Official Website of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

UNICEF Website

Clarence Abogados and Associates Website

Eritrea

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
2884 Source
Confirmed deaths
7 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
Official COVID-19 links
http://www.shabait.com/home

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
16
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
2,92%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
59%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
2,92%

Domestic and external financing
On 3 April, it was announced that members of the Central region Assembly would contribute one-month salary in support of the effort to curb the spread of Covid-19.

6 April: Eritrea has proactively requested USD 450 000 from the UN International Organisation for Migration to fund their COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.

Eritrean nationals in the Diaspora are extending financial support to contain the spread of coronavirus through their embassies. Contributions are published on http://www.shabait.com/home.


2 June: The Contribution by nationals to augment the National Fund to combat the COVID-19 pandemic continues.Cooperative associations and religious institutions contributed a total of Nakfa 63 808 (USD 4 266) .Similarly, small businesses in the Gash Barka, Northern Red Sea and Central regions contributed a total of Nakfa 193 543 (USD 13 000). 20 individuals also contributed a total of Nakfa 132 000 (USD 8 800).
Monetary and macrofinancial measures

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
13 July: A national COVID–19 pandemic response plan is yet to be announced.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 September: Eritrea has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

30 September: Specific facilities were selected based on their capacity and thus designated as service providers for COVID-related health services, but without another accreditation process.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
Transparency, accountability and participation

Business support and tax measures
Various organisations and ministries have provided extra funding as a means to bolster economically vulnerable sectors.
Financing social assistance and food relief
6 April: Eritrea's current COVID-19 response involves coordinating with the Ministry of Health to support COVID-19 response through the One UN approach;Procured and delivered PPE and screening supplies, including 100 safety goggles, 300 plastic surgical aprons (disposable), 100 packs of disposable shoe covers, 30 infrared thermometers (non-contact), 300 disposable caps and 100 personal protective gowns.

8 May: The Ministry of Social Welfare with UNICEF plans for social transfers in cash and kind to vulnerable families affected by COVID-19.

6 June:The government has banned layoffs and postponed payment of utility bills

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
Ministry of Information- Eritrea
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
Relief Web

Eswatini

Tests p/million
615
Confirmed cases
17086 Source
Confirmed deaths
652 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
8 September: Authorities have put in place a COVID-19 response package in FY20/21 of E1 billion (USD 59 million or 1.3% of GDP).
Official COVID-19 links
http://www.gov.sz/index.php/covid-19-corona-virus/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
460
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
15%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
9,90%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
15%

Domestic and external financing
On 20 April, the World Bank Group approved USD 6 million (0.13% of GDP) in health emergency funding for a project that will help strengthen the country’s health system preparedness to respond to this and potential future emergencies.

13 April:UN Eswatini contributes USD 2.4 million (or 0.05% of GDP) to the governments COVID-19 relief efforts.

On 23 June: the World Bank Group approved a further USD 20 million (0.4% of GDP) for the "Health Systems Strengthening for Human Capital Development Project" aimed at improving the quality and coverage of the Ewantini health system. This project will complement the ongoing Eswatini COVID-19 Emergency Response Project approved in April.

29 June: The IMF approved USD 110.4 million (or 2.3% of GDP) in emergency financial assistance under the Rapid Financing Instrument to support the authorities’ efforts in addressing the severe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

July: The authorities are requesting a purchase under the RFI equivalent to 100% of quota which is SDR 78.5 million (USD 107.3 million or % of GDP).
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
The Central Bank of Eswatini cut its main lending rate by 100 basis points to 5.5%, citing global and domestic economic developments and the impact of coronavirus. The reduction was to ensure the equal pegging of the local currency with the South African rand after the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) cut its main lending rate by 100 basis points to 5.25% on March 19.

The Central Bank has reduced the liquidity requirement for the banks from 25% to 20% giving the banks more liquidity.

30 April: The Central Bank further reduced its discount rate by 100 basis points to 4.5% . The Central Bank of Eswatini has also: (i) ) reduced the reserve requirement to 5 % (from 6 %); (ii) reduced the liquidity requirement to 20 % (from 25) for commercial banks and to 18 % (from 22) for the development bank; (iii) encouraged greater use of electronic payments; and (iv) encouraged banks to consider loan restructuring and repayment holidays. Banks have announced that those individuals and companies that need short term financial support or relief can approach them and each application will be assessed on a risk-based approach.

28 May: he central bank of Eswatini has cut its main lending rate by 50 basis points to 4%.

25 June: The cumulative discount rate reduction sits at 250 basis points to 4%.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
A committee with special powers to make resource allocation decisions has been created.

29 July: When requesting assistance from the IMF, the government indicated it has set up a transparent strategy to start clearing domestic arrears. All claims will be subject to the standard internal budget spending verification process, including validation of delivery, and the process will be subject to an ex-post review by the Auditor General as part of the budget audit certification process. Cabinet has approved the clearance strategy, which includes Cabinet’s approval of any detailed liquidation schedule before payments occur. Moreover, before clearing any arrears, we will publish on the government’s website (www.gov.sz) the liquidation strategy and schedule, and all pending claims, both verified and not, with information on claiming legal entities.

30 September: Bank reconciliation of COVID-19-related spending has been prioritised to enable timely reporting and audits. To this end additional clerical staff have been employed to speed up the reconciliation process.

1 February: COVID-19 operations are currently managed by the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office through the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) that acts under its direction. Funds are transferred by the Ministry of Finance to the NDMA which then transfers it to MDAs as per NDMA’s budget plan for COVID-19 response. While the Treasury pays for the receipts, the actual budget plan and execution against it is not under its purview While NDMA has a plan and budget for each agency that it will channel funds to, it has not been published it in the public domain. The Treasury is making payments for COVID-19 related expenditure as submitted by MDAs but items are often not tagged to COVID-19.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
On 28 March, the Government set the price for hand sanitisers to an amount not exceeding E150 per litre (USD 8,13).

30 May: SADC Member States have established National Emergency Operations Centres to facilitate coordination of logistics and stockpiling for disasters at the national level. The SADC Pooled Procurement Services for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies is being implemented to provide sustainable availability and access to affordable and effective essential medicine and health commodities, and Member States have been encouraged to utilise this facility for the procurement of the needed supplies for prevention, treatment and control of COVID-19 and any other epidemics.

30 September: Eswatini has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.


4 November: Eswatini have imposed licensing/ permit requirements to export. The DTIC will need to be consulted prior to the export of certain selected goods including face masks and hand sanitiser. The effect on trade in this instance is restrictive and will apply to all countries trading with Eswatini.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
End-April: A supplementary budget was approved for additional public healthcare of E100 million (USD 5.5 million or 0.14 % of GDP).

Low priority recurrent spending will be redirected to the fight against the pandemic and a portion of the capital budget will be reallocated towards refurbishing hospitals and completing new hospitals.

8 September: Authorities have put in place a COVID-19 response package in FY20/21 of E1 billion (USD 59 million or 1.3% of GDP).

4 November: The budget for 2020/21 aims at reducing the structural and fiscal imbalances which have led to the weakening of confidence in the economy of Eswatini, both internationally and domestically. Over the next three years, the authorities intend to implement fiscal consolidation measures of about 6½ percent of GDP starting in FY21/22. The consolidation plan, recently approved by cabinet, aims to restore debt sustainability, while protecting the most vulnerable through a combination of spending and revenue measures. The plan will be implemented in the context of the future annual budget cycles and is centered around four pillars: (i) Reducing public wage spending, through gradual employment reduction and below inflation salary adjustments; (ii) Rationalizing transfers and expenditure of state-owned entities; reducing (iii) Operational expenditures and improving the targeting of the main social assistance programs; and, (iv) Increasing domestic revenue through rate increases of some major taxes and base broadening measures, while suspending plans to introduce reforms that would reduce corporate income revenue. They intend to
contain reductions in capital spending and better prioritize investment toward high growth impact projects.
Transparency, accountability and participation
25 June: The Eswatini Covid-19 Emergency Response Project is being prepared under the World Bank’s Environment and Social Framework (ESF). As per the Environmental and Social Standard (ESS) 10 Stakeholders Engagement and Information Disclosure, the implementing agencies should provide stakeholders with timely, relevant, understandable and accessible information, and consult with them in a culturally appropriate manner, which is free of manipulation, interference, coercion, discrimination and intimidation.

29 July: When requesting assistance from the IMF, the government indicated it will (i) use specific budget lines to facilitate the tracking and reporting of the release of funds of all crisis-mitigation spending, and (ii) publish on the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA)’s website (www.ndma.org.sz) bi-monthly reports on funds released and expenditures incurred for health, social and other crisis-mitigation spending; (iii) regularly publish, on the Eswatini Public Procurement Regulatory Agency (ESPPRA)’s website (www.sppra.co.sz), signed public procurement contracts for crisis-mitigation spending, along with the names of awarded legal persons and their beneficiary owners, and ex-post validation of delivery; in addition, (iv) the Auditor General will undertake a financial and compliance audit of all crisis-mitigation spending and related procurement processes using independent external audit companies and will publish the results within six-months from the end of the 2020/21 fiscal year. Moreover, the Eswatini Public Procurement Regulatory Agency (ESPPRA) will undertake separate compliance and value-for money audits of all procurement activities related to COVID-19 spending, and publish the result on its website. Second, we have set up a transparent strategy to start clearing domestic arrears. All claims will be subject to the standard internal budget spending verification process, including validation of delivery, and the process will be subject to an ex-post review by the Auditor General as part of the budget audit certification process. Cabinet has approved the clearance strategy, which includes Cabinet’s approval of any detailed liquidation schedule before payments occur. Moreover, before clearing any arrears, we will publish on the government’s website (www.gov.sz) the liquidation strategy and schedule, and all pending claims, both verified and not, with information on claiming legal entities. Finally, the government continues to support the strengthening of the Anti-Corruption Commission. Despite the fiscal constraints, the funding to the agency has increased in the last two years to support the upgrading of its systems, building staff capacity, and accelerate the solution of pending cases.

29 July: As part of its commitment to the IMF, the Government will publish COVID-19 public procurement contracts; publish names of companies awarded contracts; validate delivery of products and services; publish beneficial ownership information of companies receiving COVID-19 procurement contracts; publish COVID-19 expenditure reports; and conduct COVID-19 specific audit and publish results.

Business support and tax measures
Extension of returns filing deadlines by 3 months before penalties kick-in.

Provisional tax payments: Taxpayers projecting losses will file loss provisional returns, hence no payment will be required. The due date has been postponed by 3 months, which means June declarations and payments are due in September and December declarations due in March 2021.

Taxpayers facing cash flow problems should provide evidence to be considered for payment arrangements. This only applies to current dues for Income Tax.

25 June: E90 million (USD 5.19 million) (0.13% of GDP) in tax refunds are offered to SMEs that have complied with tax obligation or have retained and continued to pay employees during the lockdown period.

8 September: The government has set up a revolving fund of E45 million (USD 2,7 million or 0.07% of GDP) to assist SMEs and a E25 million (USD 1,5 million or 0.04% of GDP) relief fund to aid laid off workers. Payment arrangements for taxpayers facing cash flow problems have been made along with a waiver of penalties and interest for older tax debts if principal is cleared by the end of September 2020; and up to E90 million (USD 5,3 million or 0.13% of GDP) in tax refunds for SMEs that have complied with tax obligations, retain employees, and continue to pay them during this period. For more information see: http://www.gov.sz/ .
Financing social assistance and food relief
15 April: Food assistance will be provided to the most vulnerable, benefiting over 300,000 people.

25 June: Government has reduced fuel levies twice since lockdown. The scheduled price increases for water and electricity have been postponed.

8 September: Authorities made use of the COVID-19 response package to increase healthcare capacity, ramp up food distribution and social protection transfers, and improve access to water and sanitation facilities for the most vulnerable.

4 November: Food assistance has been provided, benefiting over 360,000 people.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
World Bank
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
Official Government of Eswatini Website

Ethiopia

Tests p/million
40
Confirmed cases
160813 Source
Confirmed deaths
2386 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
On April 3, the Prime Minister’s office announced a COVID-19 Multi-Sectoral Preparedness and Response Plan requiring USD 1.64 billion in funding (about 1.6 % of GDP). The bulk of the outlays would be channeled toward emergency food distribution (0.6% of GDP) and health sector support (0.4% of GDP).
Official COVID-19 links
https://www.covid19.et/covid-19/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
19
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
6,02%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
37%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
6,02%

Domestic and external financing
By April 2020, the World Bank had provided USD 82 million (comprising 50% loan and 50% grant) to help Ethiopia address critical needs for COVID-19 preparedness and response, including the provision of vital medical equipment, health system capacity-building, and support to establish treatment centers.

In April 2020, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided Addis Ababa USD 600 000.

On 30 April 2020, the IMF provided a loan to Ethiopia of USD 411 Million through their rapid financing instrument. This will be provided as budget support. It also approved Ethiopia’s request for a suspension of debt-service payments of about USD 12 million to the IMF under the IMF's Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust.

17 May: France will provide EUR 40 million (USD 44 million) budgetary support to Ethiopia to help fight COVID-19 through the French Development Agency (AFD). This is part of EUR 85 million support pledged by the French government in June 2019, meant to assist Ethiopia's implementation of economic reforms.


On 17 June, Ethiopia received a Development Policy Grant from the World Bank of USD 125 million (or 0.2% of GDP). The World Bank provided an additional credit support of USD 125 million (or 0.2% of GDP) to supplement the mitigation of the economic impacts of COVID-19.

25 June: The IMF board approved USD 411 million (or 0.5% of GDP) in emergency assistance to Ethiopia to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 3 July, the African Development Fund approved USD 165 million (or 0.2% of GDP) grant for their national COVID-19 emergency response in Ethiopia.

9 September: The World Bank’s Development Committee and the G20 Finance Ministers endorsed the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) in response to a call by the World Bank and the IMF to grant debt-service suspension to the poorest countries to help them manage the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ethiopia is participating in the DSSI, given that the country is at a high risk for external and overall debt distress. This DSSI creates fiscal space of USD 511 million (or 0.5% of GDP).

10 November: The DSSI debt relief hs decreased to USD 472,9 million (or 0.5% of GDP).
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
The Central Bank has provided 15 billion Birr (USD 454 million or 0.45 % of GDP) of additional liquidity to private banks to facilitate debt restructuring and prevent bankruptcies.

6 May: Increased mobile banking transfer limits at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia to limit in-person transactions.

29 June: The central bank has also provided 33 billion birr (USD 957 million or 1.1% of GDP) of additional liquidity to the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
12 June : The following expenditure measures have been used to finance COVID-19 related expenses: (i) Reallocations of budgetary appropriations requiring parliamentary approval; (ii) Prioritising of expenditure between annual budgets; (iii) Authorising ministries to use existing savings of COVID-19 needs; and (iv) Channeling funds from contingency appropriations in the approved budget.

12 June: Other PFM rule and process adjustments extend toward the establishment of pooled procurements at a central level, to ensure rapid delivery of pandemic related goods and services.

12 June: Efforts to ensure greater liquidity and efficient cash management include: adjusting borrowing programmes to provide bridging finance, recalibrating cash buffer levels, emergency meetings of cash management committees, and the placement of additional measures to clear and prevent arrears.

In order to speed up disbursements of funds and spending the following measures have been taken by government; advance payments and cash advances are being made to service-delivery units, payment management processes have been streamlined, as well as disbursing additional petty cash to line ministries’ operational bank accounts.

A national steering committee has been formed in order to increase coordination between the finance ministry/budget office and the relevant ministries (health, agriculture, food) at subnational and central government levels. Business continuity has been ensured for the ministry of finance, given the current containment policies, by way of virtual networks.

Pooled procurement, public-private partnerships, delegation of purchasing to subnational government/ line ministries act as the efficiency and cost-effective measures implemented into the current government financing and purchasing processes.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
In April, Ethiopia and the United Nations on Tuesday opened a humanitarian transport hub at Addis Ababa airport to move supplies and aid workers across Africa to fight coronavirus. The arrangement, which relies on cargo services provided by Ethiopian Airlines, could also partially offset revenue losses of USD 550 million between January and April.

6 May: Tax exemptions and preferential access to currency for importers of materials and equipment to be used in the prevention and containment of COVID-19.

12 June: Emergency recruitment of healthcare workers

On June 25, the Prime Minister’s Office released a statement detailing measures intended to support FDI in the country through the crisis and recovery, including: (i) operational facilitation of logistics in export and import process (such as free railway transport of manufacturing goods between Ethiopia and Djibouti); (ii) removal of taxes from the import of raw materials for the production of Covid-19 essential goods, and lifting of the minimum price set by the NBE for horticulture exports.

30 September: Ethiopia has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

14 January: Ethiopia is set to receive 23.1 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from the AU.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
end-March: The authorities are loosening the fiscal stance temporarily to combat the pandemic and support the most vulnerable. The initial response included a health sector support package, including to fund medical supplies, facilities, and to cut trade taxes for medical goods, amounting to 5 billion birr (USD 154 million; 0.15% of GDP). The package is expected to be funded by reallocating budgetary funds away from uncommitted investment projects.

6 May: The allocation to health in the response plan increased to USD 430 million (0.4% of GDP) under a worst-case scenario of community spread with over 100,000 Covid-19 cases of infection in the country, primarily in urban areas.

29 June: Ethiopia's parliament approved a supplementary budget of 49.56 billion Birr (USD 1.43 billion or 1.7% of GDP) for the financial year ending July. The supplementary budget will be funded with a mix of external and domestic loans.

12 October: Ethiopia has raised its health budget by 46% this year after the coronavirus crisis exposed the need for more equipment, facilities and personnel. The government's budget showed the sector has been allocated 18.7 billion birr (USD 505 million or % of GDP) during the 2020/21 financial year, up from 12.64 billion birr in 2019/20.
Transparency, accountability and participation
6 May: The authorities are committed to full transparency on the spending for the emergency response and aim to conduct an ex-post audit of crisis-related spending once the crisis abates. As part of their commitment to the IMF, they will publish COVID-19 public procurement contracts; conduct COVID-19 specific audit, although results will not be published.

Business support and tax measures
On 30 April, the Council of Ministers approved debt forgiveness of all tax debt prior to 2014/2015, a tax amnesty on interest and penalties for tax debt pertaining to 2015/2016-2018/2019, and exemption from personal income tax withholding for 4 months for firms who keep paying employee salaries despite not being able to operate due to Covid-19.

28 May: A one-month grace period has been granted for the payment of Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Turnover Tax. The Ministry of Revenues will speed up VAT refunds to support taxpayers with cash flows challenges. Materials and equipment to be used in the prevention and containment of COVID-19 are exempt from import duties and other taxes. A tax waiver has been granted to
taxpayers in the manufacturing, construction and financial sector for any assessment due for the period between 2005 and 2015.

28 May : Interest and penalties on outstanding taxes due between 2016 and 2019 will be canceled outright and the underlying tax due can be paid in installments. Firms that pay their tax in a lump
sum will receive a 10% tax credit. There will be as much as 20% discount on taxable income for companies donating to the COVID-19 response. Landlords will be exempted from taxes payable for one tax year. Companies in loss positions during this period should be permitted to carry forward incurred losses for more than two financial years.

28 May: The minimum selling price set by the NBE for the horticulture sector for flower exports has been temporarily removed. Importers of goods for prevention of COVID-19 will be given priority access to foreign currencies. Development Bank of
Ethiopia will issue loans to microfinance institutions who can in turn lend to small and medium-sized enterprises. National Bank of Ethiopia will facilitate loans to microfinance institutions. Registered exporters who are unable to export can
supply their products locally.

4 June: The Jobs Creation Commission of Ethiopia, the Mastercard Foundation and First Consult, announced the creation of the Mastercard Foundation MSE’s Resilience Facility. This is an emergency program that will support micro and small-sized enterprises (MSEs) and start-ups in Ethiopia during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

12 October: Partially in response to the economic economic of COVID-19, officials have been cutting regulations for businesses and trying to improve the investment climate through initiatives such as a new arbitration law for dispute resolution.The liberalisation of the telecoms sector, one of the most keenly watched, has elicited interest from some of the most recognisable global operators.
Financing social assistance and food relief
30 April: Under the Response Plan, USD 635 million (0.6 % of GDP) will be allocated for emergency food distribution to 15 million individuals vulnerable to food insecurity; USD 282 million (0.3 % of GDP) for provision of emergency shelter and non-food items; USD 293 million (0.1 % of GDP) would be allocated to agricultural sector support, nutrition, the protection of vulnerable groups, additional education outlays, logistics, refugees support and site management support.

30 March: As part of the state of emergency measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19, Ethiopia has prohibited companies from laying off workers and terminating employment.

6 May: Authorities have intensified enforcement action against businesses found to be illegally increasing consumer prices.

25 May: Amhara Regional State started providing flour, oil and sugar to "the poorest of the poor" in city of Bahir Dar and City of Adama (Oromia) started providing bread and water for those who need assistance during the stay at home order. Addis Ababa City Administration allocated 600 million ETB for purchasing stockpile of food/other essential goods and distribute same to 800 retail shops.

25 May: Beneficiaries of the Urban Productive Safety Net Project (UPSNP) will receive advance 3 months payment while on leave from their public works obligations. Ethiopia Rural PSNP will be scaled up. It is likely that benefits will include a cash/ food mix. The cash benefit value will increase by about 22% for scale-up.

25 May: National Expansion of free public transport: government buses to provide free transportation service to the public in order to reduce overcrowding in the public transport system.

9 September: The Urban PSNP is being temporarily expanded in early FY 2020/21 to cover over 500,000 new beneficiaries for three months at a cost of USD 88 million (or 0.1% of GDP). This programme will be expanded to 16 additional cities over the first two months of FY 2020/21, in collaboration with the World Bank.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
Official Ethiopian Government Website
_
IMF Lending Tracker
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
The World Bank

IMF Country Report
_
CNBC Africa
_
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development of Ethiopia

Gabon

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
14849 Source
Confirmed deaths
87 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
16 April: Additional healthcare spending to protect people’s wellbeing, take care of the sick, slow the spread of the virus, and ensure the production of medical supplies requires CFAF 65 billion (USD 111 million or 0.7% of GDP).

On April 29, the authorities of Gabon created and disseminated a draft response plan to improve the economic circumstances of the country in light of Covid-19. This response plan is expected to cost CFAF 19.5 billion (USD 32.2 million, or 0.2% of GDP).

30 June: The government of Gabon plans to allocate an additional CFAF 108 billion (USD 194.1 million, or 1.2% of GDP) to the COVID-19 economic response plan..
Official COVID-19 links
http://www.gouvernement.ga/accueil

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
359
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
9,20%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
23%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
9,20%

Domestic and external financing
On 9 April, SDR 108 million was provided by the IMF through its Rapid Credit Facility

19 May: The World Bank approved USD 9 million of financing from their International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

20 April: The French Development Agency has reallocated 5 million Euros (USD 5.5 million).

26 June: The African Development Bank approved a loan of EUR 100 million (USD 112 million) to support Gabon in its Covid-19 relief efforts.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On March 24, 2020, BEAC announced that it will suspend its main absorption operations on the monetary market for the coming week in order to better assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on banking liquidity in CEMAC. However, banks with financing needs will be able to satisfy their requests at the marginal lending facility under the usual conditions. Further measures are expected to be taken following the Monetary Policy Committee meeting scheduled on March 27.

On March 27, 2020, BEAC announced a set of monetary easing measures including a decrease of the policy rate by 25 bps to 3.25 %, a decrease of the Marginal Lending Facility rate by 100 bps to 5 %, a suspension of absorption operations, an increase of liquidity provision from FCFA 240 to 500 billion (USD 394 to 823 million), and a widening of the range of private instruments accepted as collateral in monetary operations. The MPC also supported BEAC’s management’s intent to propose to reduce haircuts applicable to private instruments accepted as collateral for refinancing operations, and to postpone by one-year principal repayment of consolidated central bank’s credits to member states, but these possible additional measures are not effective yet. On March 25, 2020, the COBAC informed banks that they can use their capital conservation buffers of 2.5 % to absorb pandemic-related losses but requested banks to adopt a restrictive policy with regard to dividend distribution.

On 24 June, CEMAC decided on the interest rate for tenders (3.25%), the marginal loan facility rate (5%), and the reserve rates (7% on compulsory reserves, and 4.5% on short-term requirements).

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
The Minister of Finance has designated a public accountant in order to facilitate disbursements of health-related spending of the COVID-19 fund.

14 May: To cope with this situation, the President of the Republic instructed the Government to draw up an Amended Finance Law for the 2020 financial year and a plan for economic and social support, without resorting to borrowing


30 October: The Minister of Finance has created a fund available at their Caisse de Depots et Consignation (CDC) to assist the economy recover from the impact of COVID-19.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 September: Gabon has submitted non-binding confirmations of intent to participate in the COVAX Facility, a Gavi-coordinated pooled procurement mechanism for new COVID-19 vaccines. Gabon would be able to use the mechanism to buy and procure COVID-19 vaccines at the cheaper prices Gavi has negotiated — but the country would have to allow COVAX to procure and buy the vaccines on its behalf.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
16 April: Authorities’ current projection envisages the control of non-priority expenditure and redirecting savings of FCFA 17 billion (USD 454 million or 0.2 % of GDP) to COVID-19 related spending. They are also curtailing domestically financed capital expenditure by about 40% (1% of GDP) of the initial budget appropriation.

16 April: Revenue losses are estimated at between CFAF 230 and 645 billion (USD 378 million and USD 1 billion respectively).
Transparency, accountability and participation
16 April: The government committed to quarterly reporting of emergency funds, and an independent commission of an audit of the expenditure within 6 months of disbursement. The results of the audit and any related procurement contracts will be published. As part of their commitment to the IMF, they will also publish COVID-19 public procurement contracts; publish beneficial ownership information of companies receiving COVID-19 procurement contracts; and publish COVID-19 expenditure reports.

30 October: The Minister of Finance in Gabon has designated the public accountant to facilitate disbursements of health-related spending of the fund associated with the Gabon CDC- the public accountant must adhere to publication guidelines and must relay all information pertaining to expenditure to the minister.

Business support and tax measures
14 May: The government plans to allocate an additional FCFA 115.9 billion (USD 193.2 million or 1.3 % of GDP) as an economic response, through food stamps, electricity and water subsidies, direct support to SMEs and tax holidays.

1 September: An additional mechanism of around USD 375 million (2.5% of GDP) has been announced to facilitate access to commercial bank financing for private (formal and informal) companies of various sizes.
Financing social assistance and food relief
On 10 April, the President of the Republic announced the establishment of a massive and exceptional Economic Safeguard and Social Aid Plan in the region of CFAF 250 billion (USD 424 million).
The government announced support for water and electricity bills for the most vulnerable demographics.
The suspension during lockdown of rent payments from people without income
Free land transport provided by public companies
The establishment of a technical unemployment benefit to cover between 50 to 70% of gross salary excluding bonuses to preserve jobs in the formal private sector and maintain workers' purchasing power.
The granting of food aid to people in distress and emergency situations.
Support of CFAF 967 million (USD 1.6 million) will be provided to citizens stranded abroad but unable to repatriate.

7 May: The government has created a fund with an initial allocation of FCFA 4 billion (approx. USD 2 million) for social assistance.

30 June: The government of Gabon has tabled an economic response plan which will provide food parcels/food stamps to vulnerable individuals, along with providing those vulnerable individuals with electricity and water subsidies.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
Official Gabonese Government Website
_
IMF Lending Tracker
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
World Bank

IMF Country Report

Gambia

Tests p/million
116
Confirmed cases
4712 Source
Confirmed deaths
150 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
The authorities have prepared a USD 9 million (or, 0.55% of GDP) COVID-19 action plan.
Official COVID-19 links

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
14
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
2,76%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
24%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
2,76%

Domestic and external financing
On 2 April, The World Bank Board approved a USD 10 million (0.6% of GDP) grant from the International Development Association (IDA). The COVID-19 Response and Preparedness Project will enhance case detection, tracing, and reporting, as well as provide equipment to isolation and treatment centers, and improve disease surveillance and diagnostic capacity. It will also focus on risk communications and community engagement for increased awareness and compliance with prevention and social distancing measures.

The Gambia is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon on debt servicing through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. As of 7 May, The Gambia has received debt relief of USD 2.87 million (roughly 0.2% of GDP).

On 15 April, the Gambia has received an allotment from the IMF rapid financing instrument of USD 21.3 million (approximately 1.3% of GDP).

End-April: The European Commision provided The Gambian government with USD 10.09 million (0.6% of GDP) in COVID-19 support funding.

25 June: Donor agencies, including the UNDP, EFP, FAO, WHO, UNICEF, and UNFP, have provided cumulative financial assistance of roughly USD 1.5 million (roughly 0.1% of GDP) in order to strengthen social support programmes aimed at vulnerable groups impacted by COVID-19.

24 July: African Development Bank approves a grant for COVID-19 response; the grant comprises an ADF grant of UA 5 million (USD 96 thousand- less than 0.01% of GDP) and a TSF grant of UA 5 million (USD 96 thousand- less than 0.01% of GDP) to the Republic of The Gambia.

8 September: The Gambia is participating in the World Bank's Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space created by this DSSI amounts to USD 11.5 million, or approximately 0.7% of the country's GDP.

2 October: A second tranche of the CCRT debt relief has been extended to The Gambia of USD 2.96 million (or 0.18% of GDP).

12 October: The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a USD30 million (or 1.84% of GDP) grant from the International Development Association (IDA) to improve the quality and utilization of essential health services in The Gambia.

4 November: Donor agencies, including the UNDP, WFP, WHO, FAO, UNICEF, UNFP and UNICEF, have focused financial assistance (about USD 1.5 million or 0.09% of GDP cumulatively, so far) to strengthen social assistance support for programmes aimed at vulnerable groups impacted by COVID-19 by improving communication, safeguarding nutrition, and ensuring food security. The European Commission intends to provide an additional 5.5 million Euro (USD 6.5 million or 0.40% of GDP) financing in Q4 2020. Many of the other donors will also be expanding their social assistance support through cash transfers using mobile money and direct payments targeted to poor households, new mothers and farmers using existing databases of past recipients, village lists and voter rolls.

10 November: The DSSI support extended towards The Gambia has been adjusted downwards to providing fiscal space of USD 10.2 million (or 0,6% of GDP).
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
Domestic financial conditions have tightened with the average yield on the most used 364-days T-bills increasing to 11.4 % (400 bps higher than at end-2019). To ease liquidity conditions the central bank reduced its monetary policy rate by 50 basis points at end-February 2020 to 12 % and increased its standing deposit facility rate by the same margin to 3 %. It is also actively monitoring the situation and is in close communication with banks and ready to respond to the situation as inflationary pressures warrant. Further measures are under consideration to provide emergency liquidity support together with increased intensity and frequency of supervision to address any financial stability concerns.

On 28 May, It was announced in the Monetary Policy Committee meeting that the monetary policy rate was reduced by 2 percentage points to 10 percent resulting in a cumulative reduction of 2.5% since end-2019. The Bank also reduced the reserve requirement from 15 to 13%, thus, releasing close to D 700 million (USD 14 million or 0.7% of GDP) liquidity to the banks.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
11 June: The following expenditure measures have been used to finance COVID-19 related expenses: (i) Virements between line ministries’ approved budgets; (ii) Reprioritisation of expenditure between annual budgets; and (iii) Across-the-board cuts to recurrent expenditure.

11 June: As a way of ensuring rapid delivery of COVID-19 goods and services, the formal PFM rules and processes have been somewhat relaxed; a committee is set to review all procurement needs, obtained advice, and approval from the Procurement Regulation in a much more flexible way (i.e. through WhatsApp group chats formed by the committee).

11 June: Cash within the PFM framework has been consolidated in innovative ways to ensure greater liquidity and efficient cash management during the crisis, emergency meetings between cash management committees have been organized, and additional measures have been put in place to clear or prevent arrears.

11 June: The following measures have been adopted in order to speed up disbursement of funds and spending; (i) fast tracking expenditure authorization; 9ii) changes to spending controls from ex-ante to ex-post; and (iii) streamlining of payment management processes.

11 June: Two committees have been formed in order to increase coordination between finance ministries/ budget offices and other relevant line ministries at subnational and central government levels; one comprises of PSs and heads of relevant departments and the other is at a Cabinet level, chaired by the Vice President.

11 June: The Ministry of Finance, following containment policies, has ensured business continuity through the use of virtual networks and streamlined security checks.

11 June: As an efficiency and cost-effectiveness measure introduced into the healthcare financing and purchasing process pooled procurement has been utilised.

11 June: Tracking of COVID-19 emergency expenditure has differed from routine in that spending is done below the line account.

5 November: A supplementary appropriation bill was approved by the National Assembly to accommodate spending on the health emergency and social support, and to facilitate the recovery through infrastructure spending and support to the tourism sector.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 September: The Gambia has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
23 April: On the revenue side, the authorities are letting domestic petroleum price margins increase, which will reduce the drop in revenue by at least 0.1% of GDP. Expenditure reallocations within the budget envelope for goods and services, slowing the implementation of domestic public investment projects, reduced subsidies to the electricity provider and savings on travel expenses are expected to free about 1.0% of GDP for COVID-19 emergency, while anticipated delays in the implementation of foreign-financed public investment will be matched by lower disbursement of project loans and grants.

30 April: The Government has also reallocated 500 million Dalasi (USD 9.8 million or 0.6 % of GDP) from the current budget to the Ministry of Health and other relevant public entities to complement the support already received from partners to prevent and control the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.

11 June: Initial funding of COVID 19 was established by reallocating budget lines from the travel and training of all MDAs to the Ministry of health for Gambia. An SAP is currently being pursued; this is subjected to IMF scrutiny before the engaging National Assembly.

30 June: Initial funding of COVID 19 was established by reallocating budget lines of travel and training of all MDAs to the Ministry of health.

8 September: The supplementary appropriation approved by the National Assembly in July includes a GMD 546 million (USD 10,5 million or 0.6% of GDP) relief package to various sectors, including the municipal councils, public entities, the tourism sector, the media, and additional food assistance to be delivered through WFP. Financing from the IMF helped to cover some of these additional costs.

28 September: The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs has outlined the disbursement of over GMD 600 million (USD 11.6 million or 0.71% of GDP) made to various institutions that were seriously affected by COVID-19.
Transparency, accountability and participation
15 April: When requesting financing from the IMF, the Government stated that they will ensure full transparency and proper budget procedure for use of emergency assistance. In the current circumstances, they will use the provisions under the Public Finance Act that allow for spending reallocations within the existing budget and create a temporary fund (within the treasury single account) through which the additional emergency spending could be channeled, subject to clearly established allocation criteria and reporting requirements. Once the situation normalises and the total fiscal cost of addressing COVID-19 can be assessed, they will proceed with the preparation of a comprehensive supplementary budget and a full audit of the emergency spending.

11 June: To ensure increased transparency and accountability with regards to COVID-19 financing and expenditure, internal audits have been more undertaken more frequently.

25 June: Last month, the Gambian Constitutional Review Commission presented a new draft constitution that includes a chapter on public finance. Concurrently, the central government, with assistance from IRI, and the Gambian civil society, has worked to make its recently released 2020 Citizens Budget more accessible. The constitution also includes several notable changes in some of the provisions of the budgetary process. This attempt to improve fiscal transparency comes at a time of increased scrutiny after receiving support from the international community.

Business support and tax measures
A broader set of measures including further support to enterprises and job protection in urban areas and industrial parks is under discussion with the donor community but has not been formalized. The expansion of the Urban Productive Safety Net Programme to 16 additional cities over the next two months is under active consideration, in collaboration with the World Bank, at an estimated cost of $134 million).

25 June: The government has issued support to farmers by distributing 2000 tons of fertilizer. The state is in the process of developing a relief package for the municipal councils and tourism sector. The Gambia Revenue Authority has extended, by two months (that expired at end-May), the filing of the 2019 annual tax return and the payment of final 2019 tax, as well as for the filing of the first quarter 2020 declaration and the payment of the first quarter installment. It has also revised down its annual revenue target by about 2.2% of GDP.

22 July: In response to the outbreak of the COVID-19, The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, GCCI, has launched its Businesses Against Covid-19 Campaign to create awareness and raise funds from the business community in support of the Gambia’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in its fight to combat the pandemic.
Financing social assistance and food relief
30 April: Emergency powers have been invoked by the President to freeze prices and ration essential food (rice, meat, fish and cooking oil) and non-food (soap, sanitizers and cement) commodities to prevent price gouging and hoarding.

7 May: 2000 tons of fertilizer were distributed to in need to subsistence farmers.

25 May: Over GMD 734 million (USD 14.7 million or 0.9% of GDP) are allocated to support 84% of households countrywide. Such support includes rice, oil and sugar.

21 May: A cumulative amount of USD 1.5 million from donor organisations including the UNDP, WFP, WHO, FAO, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNICEF, has been focused on financial assistance to strengthen social assistance for vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19.

25 June: The government has launched a student relief fund to Gambian students abroad. A GMD 800 million (USD 15.8 million or 1% of GDP) national food distribution programme has been launched and is expected to reach 84% of Gambian households.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
World Bank
_
IMF Lending Tracker
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
World Bank

IMF Country Report

Ghana

Tests p/million
1430
Confirmed cases
84023 Source
Confirmed deaths
607 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
30 April: The initial COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan was set at USD 6.5 million, but this was revised to USD 100 million (from 0.01% to 0.2% of GDP). The authorities have also announced a USD 166 million Coronavirus Alleviation Program (CAP) to support the economy. Total financing requirement is USD 266 million (0.4% of GDP).
Official COVID-19 links
https://ghanahealthservice.org/covid19/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
73
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
6,54%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
38%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
6,54%

Domestic and external financing
On 2 April, the World Bank agreed to provide USD 100 million (roughly 0.15% of GDP) to Ghana to assist the country in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, available to the government and the people of Ghana as short, medium and long-term support. This financing package includes USD 35 million in emergency support to help the country provide improved response systems.

On 13 April, the IMF approved the disbursement of SDR 738 million (about USD 1 billion- approximately 1.5% of GDP) to be drawn under the Rapid Credit Facility. This will be direct budget support.

15 April: The President has established a COVID-19 Fund, to be managed by an independent board of trustees, chaired by a former Chief Justice to receive contributions and donations from the public to support the welfare of the needy and the vulnerable. The fund’s mandate extends to all activities that complement the efforts of the government to combat the pandemic.

16 April: The government has agreed with investors to postpone interest payment on non-marketable domestic bonds held by public institutions to fund the financial sector clean-up for about GHc 1.2 billion (USD 204 million, or 0.3% of GDP).

7 May: In order to reduce financing needs, the government will draw USD 218 million (0.33% of GDP) from the stabilization fund.

15 May: In Ghana, the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), funded by AFD will fund a 2 year research-action on the pandemic, as part of the Ghanaian government's response.

16 May: Under the bank's emergency financing provisions, which permits it to increase the limit of purchases of government securities, BOG said it had purchased the government's COVID-19 relief bond with a face value of 5.5 billion cedi (USD 935 million, or 1.4% of GDP) at the monetary policy rate with a 10-year tenor and a 2-year moratorium of principal and interest.

26 June: The state will borrow up to GHc 10 billion (USD 1.7 billion or 2.6% of GDP) from the Bank of Ghana.

9 September: African Development Bank Group supports Ghana’s COVID-19 response plan with USD 69 million (0.1% of GDP) grant.

10 November: The World Bank approved an additional credit of USD130 million (Maturity: 30 years Grace: 5 years) from the International Development Association (IDA) for the Ghana COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project. The additional financing in the health sector will support the Government of Ghana to scale up its efforts to mitigate the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic and to safely reopen its economy.

11 November: Ghana is participating in the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) offered by the IMF, to the value of USD 1 billion (or 1.53% of GDP).

19 November: Ghana is participating in the World Bank's Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space created by this DSSI amounts to USD 337.9 million, or approximately 0.6% of the country's GDP.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) cut the policy rate cut by 150 basis points to 14.5% on March 18, and announced several measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic shock, including lowering the primary reserve requirement from 10 to 8 %, lowering the capital conservation buffer from 3 to 1.5 %, revising provisioning and classification rules for specific loan categories, and steps to facilitate and lower the cost of mobile payments. The committee also signaled it would continue to monitor the economic impact of COVID-19 and hold emergency meetings if necessary.

Beginning on Friday March 20, 2020, all mobile money transfers of GH¢100 (USD 17,28) and below will be free of charge from service providers for the next 3 months.

On 15 May, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Ghana decided to keep the policy rate unchanged, given its decrease in March by 150 basis points.

25 June: The MPC provided relief measures for small depository institutions and a GHc 5.7 billion (USD 1 billion or roughly 1.4% of GDP) repo rate agreement with the United States Federal Reserve under the FIMA facility.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
16 April: The Minister of Finance has proposed to Parliament to amend the law to grant access to the Heritage Fund of USD 591 million.

30 April: Considering the suspension of the fiscal responsibility rules in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2018 (Act 982) to enable Government to exceed the deficit target of 5% of GDP for 2020 by about 1.1% of rebased GDP.

30 April: The Ministry of Finance constituted a 5-member ‘MoF COVID-19 Response Team’ to ensure quick response to processing of COVID-19 request for payments within 48-72 hours upon receipt; review and validate request for funds to ensure that they meet the standard operating procedures and are eligible under World Bank Financing; provide feedback/reports to management on the drawdowns of emergency funds; and maintain a matrix of all COVID-19 initiatives for coordinating purposes.

30 April: Procurement laws provide for emergency procurement processes such as using sole-sourcing contracts.

28 August: Private funds are collected through separate bank accounts, but are transferred to the national Coronavirus Alleviation Programme which is managed by the Treasury. Private funds are expected to be transferred back to the budget system to support the overall public response.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 March: As Covid-19 began to cause global disruptions in drug supply chains, subsequently threatening the supply of important medicine in Ghana, in mid-March mPharma launched a price control programme called ‘Mutti Keep My Price’. The initiative allows patients in need of chronic disease medication to continue paying the same price for their prescriptions for up to six months, regardless of market prices.

In March, the Government arranged Life and Sickness Insurance for healthcare professionals on the front line of the pandemic.

31 July: Ghana started pooling tests, instead of testing people individually, to conserve scarce resources while still tracking the spread of the disease.

30 September: Ghana has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
15 April: The projected shortfall in Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) is GHȼ3,526 million; while shortfalls in the Ghana Stabilisation Fund and the Ghana Heritage Fund are GHȼ1,058 million ( USD 182,794) and GHȼ453 million (USD 78 million), respectively. Projected shortfalls in transfers to GNPC is GHȼ642million (USD 111 million).

15 April: World Bank funding will cover the USD 100 million to support preparedness and response. Additional funds have been earmarked to address availability of test kits, pharmaceuticals, equipment, and bed capacity.

On 27 March, a Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) was established. The Ministry of Finance proposes providing 1 Billion Ghana Cedis (USD 173 million) to this. The Ministry is proposing to use the equivalent of USD 219 million from the Stabilization Fund.

On 30 March, the Minister of Finance proposed to Parliament:
To lower the cap on the Ghana Stabilisation Fund (GSF) from the current USD 300 million to USD 100 million to enable the excess amount in the GSF over the USD 100 million cap to be transferred into the Contingency Fund. The amount transferred into the Contingency Fund will be used to fund the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP).
To arrange with Bank of Ghana to defer interest payments on non-marketable instruments to 2022 and beyond.
Adjust expenditures on Goods & Services and Capex downwards by GHȼ1,248 million (USD 215,620).
Amend the PRMA to allow a withdrawal from the Ghana Heritage Fund to undertake urgent expenditures in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic. There is an estimated USD 591.1 million in the Ghana Heritage Fund.
Realignment of Statutory Funds towards expenditures that tend to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic (sanitation and health related expenditures) and limiting the award of new contracts whiles focusing on the payment of arrears.

30 April: Pension funds and investors have been encouraged to follow the lead of the Banks to support by accepting a 200 bps reduction on short term instruments including T-bills and 364-day paper. This should reduce government expenditure on interest expense by over GHS 300 million (USD 51 million) to help close the fiscal gap.

On 27 March, the Ministry of Health paid GHȼ300 million (USD 51 million) to NHIA on Friday 27th March 2020 to provide liquidity to Healthcare providers and the pharmaceutical industry.

7 May: The Ghanaian government plans to cut approximately GHc 1.1 billion (USD 190 million, or 0.3% of GDP) of spending on goods and services, transfers and capital investments, and reallocate that spending to Covid-19 response efforts.

9 September: The government has so far committed a total of GHc 11.2 billion (USD 1,9 billion or 3% of GDP) to face the pandemic and its social and economic consequences. The bulk of these funds are being used under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme. Another GHc 600 million (USD 100 million or 0.2% of GDP) were used initially to support preparedness and response.
Transparency, accountability and participation
16 April: Should the fiscal rule be suspended, the government will, in accordance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, present to Parliament, within 30 days of suspending the fiscal rule, plans to restore public finances after the emergency.

30 April: Internal audit units are being used to scrutinise all payment requests at the MDA level.

5 May: CSOs have been asked to help provide information to citizens about support policies and how to monitor them.

Business support and tax measures
28 May: The Government will waive VAT on the donation of stock of
equipment and goods for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

25 June: Tax payers are permitted to deduct donations and contributions towards COVID-19 as an allowable expense for tax purposes. Companies and trusts have six (instead of four) months after the end of their financial year to file their income tax returns. Therefore, companies with year-ends up to end-December 2019 will have until end-June 2020 to file their returns. Companies with 2020 year-ends up to end-June 2020 should submit their returns by end- December 2020.

9 September: The government has used GHc 10.6 billion (USD 1,8 billion or 2.8% of GDP) under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme to support selected industries (e.g., pharmaceutical sector supplying COVID-19 drugs and equipment), support SMEs, finance guarantees and first-loss instruments, build or upgrade 100 district and regional hospitals, and address availability of test kits, pharmaceuticals, equipment, and bed capacity.

26 October: The government has introduced a variety of interventions to assist those affected. Measures have included soft loans to qualified micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.
Financing social assistance and food relief
31 March: Government through the Ministries of Finance and Gender, Children and Social Protection, is embarking on a food distribution drive to ensure that needy people in areas under the restriction of movement directive by H. E. the President, live in comfort.

31 March: Ghana has extended health insurance to all health workers.

30 April: Food packages and hot meals for at least one million people, procurement of food from Ghana National Buffer Stock Company to support the exercise, Government will make payment of 3-months water bill for all Ghanaians and provide water through water tankers.

30 April: Waiver of personal income taxes for all health workers (241 million cedis), allowance for 50% basic salary for all frontline health workers for 4 months, transport of health workers in Accra, Tema , Kumasi and Kasoa and cover of water sanitation bills of GHS 200 million.

25 May: The government announced hotlines for the needy communities and households to reach them for their food items during the Covid-19 lockdown This has provided food for 400, 000 individuals and homes in the affected areas of restrictions. Total cost is 280 million cedis.

28 May: Taxpayers who pay their outstanding debts due to the GRA by 30 June 2020 will be granted a remission of penalties on the principal debts. Taxes on selected third-tier pension withdrawals will be waived. Incentives for frontline health workers: Exemption from the payment of tax on their employment emoluments for a three-month period commencing from April 2020. A daily allowance of GHS 150 (approx.USD 26) payable to those undertaking contact tracing. Insurance package, with an assured sum
of GHS350,000 (approx. USD60,345). To enable everyone to wash their hands frequently, Government will absorb the water bill of every resident individual for a three month period commencing April 2020.

25 June: A tax waiver is available to employees who have lost their permanent employment due to COVID-19 and to self-employed individuals who have lost capital due to the pandemic.

26 October: The government has introduced a variety of interventions to assist those affected. Measures have included several months of free water and free or subsidized electricity services to public utilities customers; free food and other essentials to those in need in Accra and Kumasi during the partial lockdown.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
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African Health Stats
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ILO Coronavirus Country responses
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Ghana Web
_
World Bank
_
Ministry of Finance- Ghana
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All Africa
_
Oxford Business Group
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Ugo Gentilini
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IMF Lending Tracker
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John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
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The Bank of Ghana Website

IMF Country Report
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Cabri Strategic Purchasing Webinar
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EY COVID-19 Tax Response Tracker

Guinea

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
16081 Source
Confirmed deaths
91 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
On 6 April, a COVID-19 economic response plan, estimated at USD 360 million (3.3% of GDP) was announced. The Plan aims at strengthening infrastructure in the health sector, protecting the most vulnerable, and supporting the private sector, notably small and medium enterprises.

16 April: The health preparedness and response plan was initially estimated at USD 13 million (0.1% of GDP).

6 May: The cost of the economic response plan is now expected to be around USD 290 million (2.7% of GDP), while a National Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for Covid-19 is now estimated to cost USD 47 million. Total financing requirement is USD 337 million (3% of GDP).
Official COVID-19 links

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
13
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
4,11%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
50%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
4,11%

Domestic and external financing
Guinea is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon on debt servicing through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. As of 13 April, debt relief through the IMF came to USD 22.4 million.

16 April: IMF approved a USD 23.5 million (0.22% of GDP) rapid credit facility disbursement for Guinea.

17 June: The World Bank approved funding for a COVID-19 preparedness and response project in Guinea of USD 10.9 million (0.2% of GDP).

19 June: The IMF approved the disbursement of USD 148 million (1.39% of GDP) to Guinea under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to address urgent balance of payment and fiscal financing needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

24 July:The African Development Bank Board approved a concessional loan of USD 34.8 million (roughly 0.3% of GDP) to help Guinea mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

30 July: The World Bank approved a USD 80 million (1.6% of GDP) concessional loan as budget support to help Guinea mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

8 September: Guinea is participating in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space that may be created by the DSSI is USD 129.7 million or 1.8% of GDP.. As of 10 November, this debt suspension was adjusted upwards to USD 147.9 million, or roughly 1.1% of GDP

2 October: Under the second tranche of the CCRT, the IMF has provided Guinea with USD 23.08 million of debt relief (roughly 0.2% of GDP)
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On March 21: The Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) announced the following measures: i) providing XOF 340 billion (USD 589 million) of additional liquidity made available to the banks by weekly and monthly auctions up to XOF 4 750 billion (USD 8.2 billion) ; ii) extending the collateral framework to access the BCEAO's refinancing to include XOF 1,050 billion (USD 1.8 billion) of bank debt of prequalified 1,700 private companies; iii) setting-up of a framework with the banking system to support firms with repayment difficulties.

On March 25: Further measures include: i) allocation of XOF 25 billion to the trust fund of the West African Development Bank (BOAD), in order to increase the amount of confessional loans to eligible countries to finance urgent investment and equipment expenses; ii) communicating of the special program for refinancing bank credits granted to SMEs; iii) initiating negotiations with firms issuing electronic money to encourage its usage; iv) ensuring adequate provision of banknotes for satisfactory ATM operations.

To promote the use of electronic payment tools the Western Africa Central Bank (BCEAO) is providing more flexible measures to open a mobile money and making transfers between people backed by electronic money free.

16 April:The policy rate and the reserve requirement ratio were both reduced by 100 basis points to 11 and 15 percent respectively.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
30 June: In contrast to the funding of the Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola) Response Plan, which had been the subject of a Special Earmarked Budget (SEB), the COVID-19 Health Crisis Economic Response Plan is managed through a “COVID-19 Response and Economic Stabilization Special Fund”. The resources of this fund are kept in an open account within the books of the Central Bank of the Republic of Guinea. The “Payeur Général du Trésor (Paymaster General) is the trustee of this account.

30 June: A joint order issued by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Budget, No. …. of 26 May 2020, established a Committee to facilitate and monitor transactions carried out within the “COVID-19 Response and Economic Stabilization Special Fund” account.

30 June: Expenditure is carried out through special imprest accounts established by an order of the Minister of Finance at the request of the sectoral ministers involved. Expenses eligible for these accounts are broken down by economic category according to the current budget classification, as reflected in the imprest decrees pertaining to the supplemental appropriation to support the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The expenditures are carried out under transfer expenses. A coding system allows for the identification of line items related to the implementation of the response plan in the budgets of all departments involved.

30 June: Subsections have been created in the administrative classification and inserted into the information system database, with a homogeneous coding in the budgetary sections which are responsible for implementing the response plan expenditure. This allows the expenditure to be earmarked according to its economic category (wages, goods and services, transfers, investment) and geographical location. A functional classification allows for the reclassification of all expenses implemented under the COVID-19 Response Plan, regardless of the ministry or department which incurred the expenditure.

On 12 November, the Budget Minister of Guinea tabled amendments regarding the Finance Bill. This was in light of increased government expenditure and decreased tax revenue collection associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 September: Guinea has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

1 January: Guinea is testing the Russian vaccine, Sputnik V and has ordered 2 million doses.

25 January: Guinea is the only low-income country which has provided any vaccinations, administering doses of the Russian Sputnik vaccine to only 25 people, including its president.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
Transparency, accountability and participation
19 June: As part of their commitment to the IMF, they will publish COVID-19 public procurement contracts; publish names of companies awarded contracts; validate delivery of products and services; publish beneficial ownership information of companies receiving COVID-19 procurement contracts; publish COVID-19 expenditure reports; and conduct COVID-19 specific audit and publish results. The government has also committed to strengthen public financial management and anti-corruption framework under the ECF arrangement. The Government has established a dedicated account, as part of the Treasury Single Account at the central bank, to receive and disburse COVID-19 funds. Furthermore, we are creating a budgetary fund that will account for all earmarked external and domestic resources to address the pandemic. They will publish monthly reports on the execution of COVID-19 related spending and the inspectorate-general for finance will conduct timely ex-post control of high-risk expenditures, with the involvement of civil society. They will also publish online, on the websites of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Budget, all awarded procurement contracts for COVID-19 related projects, including the names of entities and their beneficial owners. Furthermore, the Court of Accounts will conduct a full audit of COVID-19 spending (including ex-post validation of goods and services procured), which will be also published online by June 2021.

30 June: In terms of reporting, the computerised expenditure chain helps restore the position of transactions processed in the COVID-19 response account, at any time and in various formats. During the Ebola epidemic, it was not possible to create specific codes for the response plan expenditure, which made it difficult to refund them. With the COVID-19 response plan, the coding system allows the relevant expenditure to be isolated at any time, for refund and audit purposes.

Business support and tax measures
21 May: Financial institutions have been granted a 3 month postponement of the payment of supervision -related fees as well as contributions to the deposit insurance scheme. Insurance companies are to postpone the payment of premiums falling due during the epidemic and to suspend policies at the request of customers. Identification requirements for e-money accounts have been eased and companies are encouraged to reduce e-money transfer fees. Dividend payments have been suspended while financial institutions are required to limit technical assistance fees paid to their parent companies to the strict minimum.

30 August: The COVID-19 response plan for Guinea highlighted business support measures including the introduction of temporary exonerations on taxes, social contributions and payments of utilities for firms in the most affected sectors.
Financing social assistance and food relief
30 April: Among the measures announced to tackle the coronavirus, the state will pay the electricity bills of the poorest for three months, freeze the price of medicines and basic necessities during the pandemic and introduce free public transport for three months.

25 May: New cash transfers programme of 250 000 GNF (USD 25) per month for 240,000 households (1.6 million people) in various parts of Guinea including Conakry. The programme take place from June to December 2020.

25 May: The new Social Protection agency will distribute sanitation kits to 130,900 households from April 2020.

1 July: The authorities are contemplating additional support measures to the agricultural commodity chain as a means to prop up food security in the country in light of COVID-19.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
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Africa Health Stats
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Aljazeera
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IMF Lending Tracker
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John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
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Africa News Room

Guinea-Bissau

Tests p/million
762
Confirmed cases
3271 Source
Confirmed deaths
48 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
27 August: A COVID-19 response plan for Guinea Bissau has been implemented. This response plan is expected to cost CFAF 2.7 billion (USD 5 million, or 3.4% of Guinea Bissau's GDP)
Official COVID-19 links
https://www.covid19gb.com/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
43
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
13%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
35%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
13%

Domestic and external financing
Guinea-Bissau is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon on debt servicing through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. As of 13 April 2020, this debt relief amounted to USD 1.48 million.


1 May: UNICEF has begun the process of providing funding to Guinea-Bissau of USD 2.5 million (0.55% of GDP) to assist the country in order to curb the impact of Covid-19.

29 May: An EU-IOM partnership seeks to mobilise just over 1 million Euros to alleviate the impact of Covid-19 on migrants/refugees in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, and Senegal.

3 September: The Islamic Bank has made USD 15 million (3.3% of GDP) available to the government of Guinea-Bissau

2 October: The IMF provided a second tranch of debt service relief through the CCRT to the effect of USD 1.92 million (0.42% of GDP) for Guinea-Bissau.

1 February: The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) equivalent to SDR14.2-million (about USD20.47-million, or 50% of quota) to help Guinea-Bissau meet urgent balance of payments and fiscal needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On March 21: The Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) announced the following measures: i) providing XOF 340 billion (USD 589 million) of additional liquidity made available to the banks by weekly and monthly auctions up to XOF 4 750 billion (USD 8.2 billion) ; ii) extending the collateral framework to access the BCEAO's refinancing to include XOF 1,050 billion (USD 1.8 billion) of bank debt of prequalified 1,700 private companies; iii) setting-up of a framework with the banking system to support firms with repayment difficulties.

March 25: Further measures include: i) allocation of XOF 25 billion to the trust fund of the West African Development Bank (BOAD), in order to increase the amount of confessional loans to eligible countries to finance urgent investment and equipment expenses; ii) communicating of the special program for refinancing bank credits granted to SMEs; iii) initiating negotiations with firms issuing electronic money to encourage its usage; iv) ensuring adequate provision of banknotes for satisfactory ATM operations.

To promote the use of electronic payment tools the Western Africa Central Bank (BCEAO) is providing more flexible measures to open a mobile money and making transfers between people backed by electronic money free.

As of 30 April, the regional central bank has also created "Covid-19 T-bills" as a means to raise funding during the pandemic. (removed bracketed text).

On 22 June, the BCEAO announced that it had decreased the tender operations rate from 2.5% to 2%, and that the interest rate on marginal loan windows was reduced to 4% from 4.5%.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
On April 27, Heads of states of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) declared a temporary suspension of the WAEMU growth and stability pact setting six convergence criteria, including the 3 % of GDP fiscal deficit rule, to help member-countries cope with the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing member countries to raise fiscal deficits temporarily.

1 February: The 2020 budget was only passed in September 2020, and faced criticism for issues such as misestimation of salaries. This meant that most of the COVID-19 spending was done on the basis of an unapproved budget.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 September: Guinea-Bissau has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
Emergency measures of about USD 0.5 million have been approved. These are focused on upgrading the main national hospital, and the provision of medicines, food, and medical equipment to the country’s hospitals. The authorities already made available FCFA 100 million (0.01% of GDP, or USD 1.7 million) and will provide monthly FCFA 122 million (USD 2.1 million, or 0.14% of GDP) to the main hospital.

17 June: Healthcare interventions in Guinea-Bissau have been allocated a total of USD 1 million (0.1% of GDP) as opposed to the original amount of USD 0.5 million.

27 August: The government of Guinea Bissau has increased its monthly health expenditure by CFAF 222 million (roughly USD 400 000 or 0.03% of GDP). This is above and beyond funding directed towards the emergency health response plan, for which CFAF 2.7 billion (USD 5 million, or 3.4% of GDP) has been earmarked.

On 19 October, the Ministry of Finance published a bulletin outlining the fiscal and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Guinea-Bissau economy. In this publication, tax and non tax revenues were expected to decrease from CFAF 164.1 billion to CFAF 113.2 billion (From USD 300 million to USD 205 million, or 67% of GDP to 46% of GDP). In contrast, expenditure was expected to reach CFAF 197.1 billion (USD 357 million or 79.3% of GDP), slightly above the expected CFAF 195 million expenditure (USD 355 million, or 78.9% of GDP). This had the impact of widening the primary budget deficit to USD 152 million, or 34% of GDP in the country.
Transparency, accountability and participation

Business support and tax measures
On 19 October, the Ministry of Finance of Guinea-Bissau released a publication relating to the budgetary and economic impacts of COVID-19 which precedes amendments to the budget. In this document, the Ministry of Finance highlighted that deadlines for tax payments will be extended, and penalties associated with arrears accumulated during the pandemic would be quashed.
Financing social assistance and food relief
As of 30 April, CFAF 525 million (USD 0.9 million) has been allocated by the state to purchase essential food items for those in relatively weak economic standing. 20,000 bags of rice and 10,000 bags of sugar were distributed across the country.

1 May: UNICEF is expected to donate as many as 20 000 masks to at-risk groups in the country, whilst also delivering other medical and PPE supplies.

18 May: The Chinese state has provided Guinea-Bissau with 500 infrared thermometers, 20,000 sets of disposable gloves, 10,000 surgical masks, and a further 4,000 different masks/coveralls.

22 May: UNICEF has begun the process of designing and implementing a cash transfer programme which will target 1 200 of the most vulnerable families in Guinea Bissau.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
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African Health Stats
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Macau Hub
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John Hopkins University- Coronavirus

Relief Web Website

CNBC Africa Website

Kenya

Tests p/million
151
Confirmed cases
106470 Source
Confirmed deaths
1863 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
30 April: COVID-19 spending interventions of KES 40 billion (374 million or 0.4% of GDP) in 2019/20 have been included in a supplementary budget.
Official COVID-19 links
http://www.health.go.ke/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
52
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
6,06%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
28%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
6,06%

Domestic and external financing
A Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund has been formed accompanied by regulatory guidelines. The regulations stipulate that the fund shall be terminated when the President declares that the COVID-19 pandemic no longer poses a threat to the country, but they do not specify the use of the remaining balances.

Kenya's executive has agreed to pay cuts as the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced on Wednesday. Kenyatta and his deputy will take an 80% pay cut, while their ministers and their assistants will take pay cuts ranging from 20% to 30%.

The Central Bank released Shs 7.4 billion (USD 69 million or 0.08% of GDP) to the government to support the fight against COVID-19. The bank explained that the money was an “exceptional and unbudgeted windfall” that came from the value of notes that were rendered worthless after the Shs 1000 (USD 9.4) note was demonetized last year.

On 2 April, the World Bank Group Board of Directors approved USD 50 million (0.06% of GDP) in immediate funding to support Kenya’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic under a new operation - the Kenya COVID -19 Emergency Response Project.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions donated USD 19 million (0.02% of GDP) to the country’s coronavirus emergency fund from money that his office had seized from corrupt dealings in the past two years.

On 6 May 2020, The IMF approved USD 739 million (0.84% of GDP) under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to meet Kenya’s urgent balance of payments need stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

20 May: The World Bank has approved USD 1 billion (1.14% of GDP) in budgetary support for Kenya as a means to close its fiscal financing gap, and also as a means to respond to the economic impact of Covid-19 on the country.

On 22 May, the African Development Bank approved an 188 million Euro (approximately 0.2% of GDP) loan to support the Government of Kenya’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate the related economic, health and social impacts.

9 September: Between June and August, another Sh200 billion (USD 1,84 billion or 200% of GDP) was borrowed locally. Official external borrowing figures are yet to be updated to August.

11 November: Kenya is participating in the World Bank's Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space created by this DSSI amounts to USD 630.8 million, or approximately 0.7% of the country's GDP.

25 January: In 2020, Ksh. 350 million from the Royal Danish Embassy was disbursed through the Ministry of Health.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On 24 March, the Central Bank (1) lowered its policy rate by 100 bps to 7.25 %; (2) lowered banks’ cash reserve ratio by 100 bps to 4.25 %; (3) increased the maximum tenor of repurchase agreements from 28 to 91 days; and (4) announced flexibility to banks regarding loan classification and provisioning for loans that were performing on March 2, 2020, but were restructured due to the pandemic. The Central Bank has also encouraged banks to extend flexibility to borrowers’ loan terms based on pandemic-related circumstances and encouraged the waiving or reducing of charges on mobile money transactions to disincentivize the use of cash.

On April 15, the central bank suspended the listing of negative credit information for borrowers whose loans became non-performing after April 1 for six months. A new minimum threshold of USD 10 was set for negative credit information submitted to credit reference bureaus.

On April 29, the central bank lowered its policy rate by 25 bps to 7.0%.

On 27 May, the Monetary Policy Committee maintained the policy rate at 7% and noted that the policy measures taken in the previous month were having their intended effect.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
30 April: A Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund has been formed accompanied by regulatory guidelines. The Regulations on the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund apply the general PFM Regulations, including provisions for commitment controls. In order to ensure the implementation of budget execution controls, the National Treasury has been appointed to be the administrator of the fund. The establishment of the COVID-19 fund has been supported by donors in order to ring-fence external financing of the emergency response and to reduce fiduciary risk.

11 June: Kenya will remove a range of tax exemptions including for oil and gas exploration as it seeks to make up for revenue lost to the impact of the coronavirus crisis. The tax exemptions amounted to SH 535 billion (USD 5.03 billion or 6% of GDP).

On 30 June, the President of Kenya assented to the Finance Act of 2020. This act describes and amends various corporate and personal tax laws associated with COVID-19 relief.

9 September: The state has fast-tracked payment of VAT refunds and other government obligations in order to increase funding for cash transfers, and several other initiatives.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 September: Kenya has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

30 September: COVID-19 health services initially required co-payments, but the government has since mobilised additional funding to expand the benefit package and provide care free of charge for everyone.

5 November: Kenyan firms are banned form exporting face masks, this restrictive exporting measure applies to all countries.

1 January: Kenya ordered 24 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through COVAX, with supply expected to start in the second week of February.

14 January: Kenya is expected to receive 10.8 million doses from the African Union, bringing the total of expected doses for the country to 47 million as the Kenyan government has made a request to Gavi for 24 million doses while it plans to purchase 12 million from other sources. Kenya’s Health Director General, Patrick Amoth said the country has set aside Ksh10billion (USD 91 million) to purchase more doses which combined, will be enough to vaccinate 30% of the country’s population.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
The government has earmarked funds for additional health expenditure, including enhanced surveillance, laboratory services, isolation units, equipment, supplies, and communication.

On 25 March, the government announced the disbursement of KES 1 billion (USD 9 million) for the recruitment of additional medical personnel.

Given lower revenues due to decreased economic activity and the need to accommodate emergency spending, the government is currently reassessing the budget deficit target for FY 2019/20.

29 April: To offset revenue losses, and re-direct funds towards coronavirus mitigation, the Treasury tabled a supplementary budget. A new budget line for Covid-19 response was allocated Ksh3.9 billion. In total, the Treasury says it allocated Ksh40.3 billion (0.4% of GDP) for pandemic-related expenditures, including health sector (enhanced surveillance, laboratory services, isolation units, equipment, supplies, and communication); social protection (cash transfers and food relief); and funds for expediting payments of existing obligations to maintain cash flow for businesses during the crisis. Includes KES 5 billion in the health sector, as well as reallocation of previously planned expenditure, most of which will be covered by a USD 60 million support package from the World Bank that also covers 2020/21; KES 13 billion to expedite clearance of unpaid bills with suppliers; KES 10 billion to fasttrack VAT refunds; and KES 10 billion for cash transfers to the elderly, disabled, and low-income households.

26 June: The government put forward an additional KES 53.7 million (USD 504,780 or 0.5% of GDP) economic stimulus package to be included in its' FY 2020/2021 budget. This includes a new youth employment scheme, the provision of credit guarantees, and several other initiatives. The Treasury has reallocated KES2 billion (USD 18 million or 0.02% of GDP) from the budget to procure Covid-19 testing kits and masks, among others. The purchase of these items was allocated funds in the budget and was to run until June 30. The budget also contains KES 1.5 billion (USD 14 million or 0.016% of GDP) allocated to the Labour Ministry for stipends to the elderly, and a further KES 1.0 billion (USD 9.4 million or 0.11% of GDP) for hiring additional health personnel.

5 November: The government, as part of the FY2019/20 budget (ending June 30, 2020), initially earmarked Ksh40 billion (USD366 million or 0.4% GDP) for Covid-related expenditure,

25 January: In order to cushion County Governments against the unprecedented negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government in collaboration with development partners allocated and disbursed additional Ksh 7.71 billion in the FY 2019/20.
Transparency, accountability and participation
29 April: Kenya’s Parliamentary Budget Office has warned that a significant proportion of reallocations may not be pandemic-related and were made contrary to PFM regulation.

31 March: A public notice was issued requesting citizen feedback on the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund regulations. However only one day was provided for this feedback.

11 May: The Community Health Services Bill came about after public participation.

6 May: To ensure that COVID-19 related resources are used for their intended purpose, the authorities undertake to conduct independent post-crisis auditing of COVID-19 related expenditures and publish the results.

26 June: Ordinary Kenyans will for the first time be able to review details of public procurement contracts via the public procurement information portal (www.tenders.go.ke). Further, a new Debt and Borrowing Policy sets Kenya up to manage its public debt more strategically and transparently, including by specifying clear oversight and audit responsibilities over the use of borrowed funds.

Business support and tax measures
30 April: Tax cuts have been provided to small businesses and corporations. There has been a reduction in the turnover tax rate from 3% to 1% for micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises. A reduction in corporate and personal income tax rates from 30% to 25%. The government has also earmarked funds for expediting payments of existing obligations to maintain cash flow for businesses during the crisis.

30 April: Reduction of the standard VAT rate from 16 to 14% and elimination of a long list of exemptions in the VAT and corporate income tax. The annual cost of these tax relief measures is estimated at 1.7% of GDP.

17 May: The government of Kenya is considering the reversal of income tax, value-added tax and sales levy cuts announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic due to IMF advice. The IMF says the cuts will cost the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and compromise the state’s ability to deal with emergencies and spending on development projects like roads, power plants and water infrastructure.

26 June: The base corporate income tax rate is reduced from 30% to 25%. The turnover tax rate for small businesses is reduced from 3% to 1%.

30 June: The Finance Act of 2020 highlights an increase in the minimum taxable salary of employees to KES 288 000 (roughly USD 2 656) per annum as a means to ease the pressure faced by low income earners as a result of COVID-19. Along with this change, the government has made both maize (corn) seeds and ambulance services VAT exempt items in light of COVID-19.
Financing social assistance and food relief
15 April: Tax relief for low income earners (earning up to USD 240).
A reduction in the VAT rate from 16% to 14% with effect from 1 April 2020.
Suspension of the country’s three credit reference bureaus, which among them have about 2.5 million Kenyans negatively listed and unable to obtain credit from banks or fintech apps, beginning 1 April.
The National Treasury appropriated an additional Ksh 10 billion (USD100 million) for supporting the elderly, orphans and other vulnerable members through Kenya’s relatively well-developed cash transfer system.
Fee waivers on person-person mobile money transactions on M-PESA were approved.

11 May: Together with the EU, Sweden, Finland and Denmark are providing Ksh 211 million (USD 2 million) in order to improve access to water and sanitation to 119 000 Kenyan residents most impacted by Covid-19.

26 June: Full income tax relief is provided for persons earning below KES 23 962 (USD 225) per month, and a reduction of the top PAYE rate from 30% to 25% has been passed.

9 September: Amendments have been made in the Finance Act, these include; the zero rating of VAT on maize, cassava and wheat flour for 6 months so as to make unga affordable. The new Finance Act also extends the zero rating of VAT on cooking gas for one year.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
Anadolu Agency (AA)
_
World Bank
_
KPMG
_
Ugo Gentilini
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
The Africa Report
_
ENS Africa
_
The European Union
_
IMF Country Report

Lesotho

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
10497 Source
Confirmed deaths
295 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
15 April: The World Bank estimates that Lesotho will require 11% of GDP to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

12 May: The government has budgeted M698 million (USD 40 million- 2.5% of GDP) for the Covid-19 response.
Official COVID-19 links
https://www.gov.ls/about-coronavirus-covid-19/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
155
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
11%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
19%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
11%

Domestic and external financing
14 April: Although free of COVID-19 , Lesotho has has formally initiated talks with the World Bank and the European Union (EU) for assistance.

On 17 April, Econet Telecom Lesotho with the Government of Lesotho through the National Command Centre launched channels to solicit donations towards the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 23 April, it was announced that the Governor of the Central Bank will be approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on possible balance of payments support under the provisions for COVID-19.

On 14 May, the World Bank approved a M130 million (USD 7.5 million or 0.27% GDP) credit from the International Development Association (IDA) to support Lesotho’s efforts to prevent, detect and respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic

On 17 June, Lesotho's application for a COVID-19 accelerating funding request has been approved to the amount of USD 3.47 million (roughly 0.13% of GDP) from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

26 June: The African Development Bank has approved USD 8.9 million in grant funding for 6 SADC countries (Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).

29 July: IMF Executive Board Approves USD 49.1 million (or 1.8% of GDP) in Emergency Support to Lesotho to Address the Covid-19 Pandemic.

9 September: The World Bank’s Development Committee and the G20 Finance Ministers endorsed the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) in response to a call by the World Bank and the IMF to grant debt-service suspension to the poorest countries to help them manage the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lesotho is participating in the DSSI, given that the country is at a moderate risk for external and overall debt distress. This DSSI creates fiscal space of USD 9,5 million (or 0.3% of GDP). On 10 November, this debt relief amount was increased slightly to USD 9.8 million (now, 0.4% of GDP)

19 October: The World Food Programme in conjunction with the Food and Agriculture Organisation has provided USD 5.2 million (or 0.19% of GDP) in grant funding for the country to respond to food security threats due to COVID-19.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On 23 March, following an extraordinary meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) announced (i) an increase of the NIR target floor from USD 630 million to USD 660 million, and (ii) a reduction of the CBL policy rate by 100 basis points from 6.25 to 5.25%.

On 13 April, banks and insurance companies were asked to suspend loan repayments for three months, and insurance companies asked to suspend instalment payments. The implementation of Basel II.5 was postponed to free up funds that would otherwise go towards additional capital buffers.

On 14 April, the Central Bank of Lesotho reduced the policy rate by a further 100 basis points from 5.25% to 4.25%.

On 22 May, the MPC met and decided to: i. Reduce the NIR target floor from USD 660 million to USD 530 million. The NIR target remains consistent with the maintenance of the exchange rate peg between the loti and the South African rand. ii. Reduce the CBL rate from 4.25 percent per annum to 3.75 percent per annum.

26 June: To encourage the use of non-cash payments, the CBL has negotiated with mobile network operators the removal of fees for transactions below M50 (USD 3) and temporarily raised mobile money transaction limits.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
At a Cabinet meeting on 6 May it was decided that all COVID-19 support be placed under the direct control of Disaster Management Authority (DMA). It was also proposed that the DMA should be established into an independent entity not a department for proper governance and accountability since it already operates with a board.

9 September: Lesotho has made use of the following measures to finance COVID-19-related expenditure; (i) Virements across line ministries' approved budgets; and (ii) Reallocations of budgetary appropriations requiring parliamentary approval . The country has also made use of a single-source procurement and adjustments were made to the invoicing purchase order requirements to ensure more efficient cash management and liquidity during this crisis. The remaining fiscal gaps for COVID-19 expenditure will be filled through external debt relief or restructuring and by channeling funds from contingency budgets and disaster funds. There was political buy in to have a budget reallocation done before the usual mid-year time. The parliament endorsed the appropriation. The budget data was used and inactive line items were reviewed and adjusted accordingly.

9 September: The Ministry of Finance has ensured business continuity through the use of virtual networks.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 May: SADC Member States have established National Emergency Operations Centres to facilitate coordination of logistics and stockpiling for disasters at the national level. The SADC Pooled Procurement Services for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies is being implemented to provide sustainable availability and access to affordable and effective essential medicine and health commodities, and Member States have been encouraged to utilise this facility for the procurement of the needed supplies for prevention, treatment and control of COVID-19 and any other epidemics.

9 September: The emergency recruitment of healthcare workers was adopted into the healthcare financing and purchasing processes, as a measure to improve efficiency. The government provided financial support to COVID-19 related industries (local producers of PPE equipment, RnD towards diagnostics and vaccine development) by enhancing access to credit in the private sector.

30 September: Lesotho has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

5 November: The Government of Lesotho has stated that licenses and permits are required to export face masks and hand sanitisers. This is to ensure that the supply of such items is regulated within the country.

7 January: The Minister of Health, Mr. Motlatsi Maqelepo says Lesotho will access the COVID-19 vaccine in April 2021. The vaccine, which the Minister said will be free is to be provided by COVAX Facility, will be administered to 20 percent of the population. No other plans to procure the vaccine have been announced.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
On 13 April, the Prime Minister’s speech unveiled updated fiscal measures of M1.2 billion (USD 67 million) to support food security and to assist those most affected by the crisis. M500 million (USD 28 million) of that goes to a Contributory Fund that the government has started.

At a Cabinet meeting on 6 May, it was recommended that consideration be given to reallocating the construction of sports facilities for the Commonwealth Games to financing of COVID-19 interventions. It was also proposed that all the reductions proposed by the Committee be directed towards purchasing and/or improving the government fleet of ambulances to the required standard for ferrying Coronavirus patients.

On 23 April, the Prime Minister noted that the Disaster Relief Fund which has a budget of M698 million (USD 39 million) will be used to fight COVID-19.

12 May:The government will soon request parliament to redirect M659 million (USD 40 million) from the 2020/2021 capital budget towards the country's Covid-19 response programmes. The M4, 7 billion (USD 271 million) capital budget would be reduced by M659 million if parliament approves the government's request.

26 June: Two fiscal packages are being implemented; (i) A M700 million (USD 40 million or 2% of GDP) fund set aside for the National Covid-19 Response Integrated Plan 2020; more than half of which is being used for the purchase of critical goods and services and health care personnel, the remainder covering border management, logistics, and security; (ii) A M1.2 to M1.5 billion (USD 70 million to 87 million, or between 2.5 and 3.2% of GDP) fund for emergency assistance and expanding social protection.

On 18 November, the mid-term budget speech was delivered by the Minister of Fnance in Lesotho. The following estimates and reprioritisations relate to the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Overall revenue is expected to decrease by 14% in light of the pandemic. This results in a fiscal deficit of 4.4% of GDP in 2020/21.
- Throughout the 2020/21 fiscal year, M146 million (USD 9.5 million, or 0.35% of GDP) of transportation infrastructure expenditure is expected to be reprogrammed towards the health and social response of COVID-19.
- M103 million (USD 6.7 million, or 0.25% of GDP) was also reprogrammed from the budgetary line on development of electricity generation capacity towards the COVID-19 health and social response.
- M180 million (USD 11.7 million, or 0.43% of GDP) was reallocated from sports and cultural activities towards the COVID-19 response.
Beyond this specific breakdown, the minister of finance made mention that expenditure on the healthcare response to COVID-19 would likely increase, although no breakdown of expected expenditure has been provided as yet.
Transparency, accountability and participation
29 July: As part of their commitment to the IMF, the Government will publish COVID-19 public procurement contracts; publish names of companies awarded contracts; validate delivery of products and services; publish beneficial ownership information of companies receiving COVID-19 procurement contracts; publish COVID-19 expenditure reports; and conduct COVID-19 specific audit and publish results.

2 August: In Lesotho the National Emergency Command Centre (NECC), comprising various government ministries and departments, and which is charged with spearheading the fight against Covid-19, was in May accused of misusing public funds meant to fight the virus. According to the Lesotho Times, a leaked budget revealed corrupt procurement plans with a non-contact thermometer.

Business support and tax measures
As part of the fiscal measures announced on 13 April, M200 million (USD 11 million) will be spent on agriculture for food production. The government will also pay business rentals in May and defer certain taxes until September. The country is also improving credit facilities for SMEs, guaranteeing 75% of principal rather than 50%.

On 23 April, the Prime Minister announced a M500 million (USD 28 million) fund to support private businesses

13 May: Informal traders will not pay licence fees during lockdown and 2 months after. Tax compliant businesses to get payment deadline extension till end of September – deadline to be communicated later. Simplified business taxation for non essential services including transport will not be payable. Banks directed to extend 3-month payment holiday for all affected individuals and companies. Lending and mobile money interest rates to be lowered.

26 June: The government to provide up to M20 000 (USD 1149) matching grants to companies, with number of employees ranging from one to 50, on condition the companies retain and do not retrench workers.

9 September: The authorities intend to provide a subsidy to 45 thousand industrial workers, and M100 million in subsidies to support food production (USD 6 million, or 0.2% of GDP). The authorities also intend to clear arrears to MSMEs and are expanding credit guarantee facilities by M450 million (USD 27 million, or 1% of GDP). They are also offering grants and rent subsidies to MSMEs and rent holidays to firms renting from the Lesotho National Development Corporation and local/municipal governments. The Lesotho Revenue Agency defers CIT for the first two quarters for all businesses and provide tax deferrals for the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) and VAT.
Financing social assistance and food relief
As part of the fiscal measures announced on 13 April, social protection schemes will be expanded. Existing cash transfers, such as the Child Grant Program will be topped-up. Public assistance will be expanded for 3 months, to add vulnerable groups such as children, elderly disabled, and those working in the informal sector.

On 23 April, it was announced that Lesotho's 45 000 factory workers would each be given LSL 800 (USD 44) monthly payments by the government over the "next two or three months" to enable them to meet some of their basic needs. That money would be separate from the LSL 500 million (USD 27.8 million) earmarked for businesses.

May 5: Food packages will be delivered to the vulnerable through a government-based delivery programme.

13 May: International students (within, outside SADC) to receive additional payments of 3 months. International (outside SADC) students to be paid additional $300 dollars for 3 months = $900. They are advised to remain at their bases. Students within the region will continue to receive allowances – will be assisted to return home if need be.

9 September: The authorities intend to provide a subsidy to 45 thousand industrial workers, and M100 million in subsidies to support food production (USD 6 million, or 0.2% of GDP).

29 October: A COVID-19 relief fund for persons between 60-69 has been launched in Lesotho. This fund is expected to run for three months, and is expected to reach 35 000 vulnerable households countrywide, providing a top-up grant of M831 (USD 55) per month.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
Market Watch
_
Official Government Website- Lesotho
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
Central Bank of Lesotho Website
_
Africa News

Liberia

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
2014 Source
Confirmed deaths
85 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
On 13 April, President Weah announced that anticipated financing to cover food relief, healthcare and other areas is USD 40 million (1.2% of GDP).

6 June: The pandemic opens a balance of payment need of USD 150 million (or 5.1% of GDP) in 2020, which largely arises from a domestic revenue shortfall projected at USD 119 million.
Official COVID-19 links
http://moh.gov.lr/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
19
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
3,86
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
47%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
3,86

Domestic and external financing
In March, the World Bank has to date approved USD1.5 million of financing (which is yet to be utilized). Areas of concentration under the plan include support to health care workers, purchase and rehabilitation of health care equipment, procurement of drugs and other medical supplies, deployment of surge staff to contact tracing activities, border areas, rapid response teams, training of responders, planning, communications and information sharing, staffing and equipping of laboratories, and logistical and supply support.

On 9 April, the World Bank approved additional USD 7.5 million International Development Association (IDA) financing to help Liberia respond to the threat posed by the Coronavirus outbreak. The financing consists of a USD 3.75 million grant and USD 3.75 million concessional IDA credit.

Liberia is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon on debt servicing through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. As of 13 April, the IMF has offered debt relief to Liberia of USD 15.92 million.

17 April: An Emergency COVID-19 Relief Fund will be established at commercial to complement Liberian Government's purchase of necessaries such as food, medicines, face masks and face shields for vulnerable people, and testing kits, personal protection equipment and other protective gears for contact tracers and health workers. The Relief Fund shall be funded by assessment of 25% of the net salaries of all employed persons (both in the private and public sectors) for two months (May and June, 2020). Payment to the Emergency COVID-19 Fund shall be made in the same manner as payroll taxes are collected through the Liberia Revenue Authority as the intermediary; and all moneys collected by the Liberia Revenue Authority shall be deposited into the account(s) established at the commercial bank(s) designated by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning.


The African Development Bank is preparing a significant budget support operation under the COVID-19 Response Facility which was approved on April 8.

11 May: The United States Government has committed USD 1 million in health funds to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Liberia.

8 June: The IMF approved the disbursement of a loan to Liberia equivalent to USD 50 million or 1.7% of Liberian GDP.

On 24 June, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) approved Liberia's application for a COVID-19 accelerated funding request of (USD 7 million or 0.2% of GDP). The IMF approved the disbursement of SDR 36.17 million (USD 50 million of 1.7% of GDP) under the Rapid Credit Facility to support Liberia in their response to COVID-19.

26 July: African Development Bank approves an ADF grant of UA 10.15 million (USD 846 thousand or 0.03% of GDP) for COVID-19 response in Liberia.

On July 28, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank approved USD 14 million (or 0.43% of GDP) direct budget support for Liberia as part of a multi-country COVID-19 response to help bolster the fight against the pandemic.

2 October: Liberia received the second tranche of the IMF's CCRT. This tranche is valued at USD 15.78 million (roughly 0.5% of GDP)

On 10 November, the World Bank noted the availability of Debt Relief (which has yet to be claimed) for Liberia to the tune of USD 2.6 million, or roughly 0.1% of GDP.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
7 May: No changes to monetary policy are envisaged at this stage, as the shortage of Liberian dollar banknotes coupled with the lack of confidence in the banking system precludes any meaningful response to the pandemic using monetary policy instruments. In mitigation of this situation, the CBL is expediting the procurement of additional banknotes to help meet the Liberian dollar demand in the economy. In response to the difficulties being felt by the private sector, the CBL is also allowing banks to practice limited forbearance on asset classification, provisioning, and lending policies in hard-hit sectors of the economy, while remaining vigilant for signs of banking sector stress.

29 May 2019: The board of governors reduced the policy rate by 500 basis points to 25%, in line with their inflation projections.

5 June: To address the shortage of Liberian dollars and the growing need for more U.S. dollar liquidity, the authorities have contracted the printing of additional Liberian dollar bank notes and are formulating measures for inclusion in the 2021 budget to augment US dollar liquidity.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
25 June: Liberian authorities have taken measures to raise domestic revenue, including legislative approval of an excise tax on fuel and adoption of a resolution to channel all revenues acquired by two large state-owned entities to the government’s consolidated account.

28 August: Liberia has used earmarked taxes (on public sector wages) as one of the sources of financing for its COVID-19 fund.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 September: Liberia has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
By 14 April, the Government of Liberia had provided USD500,000, as support to the fight against the COVID 19 outbreak.

15 April: President George Weah is requesting the Legislature to re-appropriate USD 25 million for the remainder of the 2019/2020 budget year in support of the government's stimulus package to facilitate food distribution for designated households for 60 days.

1 June: The proposed recast national budget reflects the redirection of L32 million (USD 11,2 million or less than 0.03% of GDP) towards a new “COVID-19 Response” budget item. The following items are seen to experience budget cuts; (i) Use of goods and services- decreased by close to L20 million (USD 100,000 or 0.003% of GDP); (ii) Spending on subsidies- decreased by L608 000 (USD 3040 or less than 0.001% of GDP); (iii) Spending on grants – decreased by L16 million (USD 80,000 or less than 0.002 % of GDP).
Transparency, accountability and participation
7 April: The Central Bank and Ministry of Finance and Development Planning intend to conduct a post-crisis audit of the expenditure by an independent auditor.

5 June: As part of their commitment to the IMF, the Government will publish COVID-19 public procurement contracts; publish names of companies awarded contracts; validate delivery of products and services; publish beneficial ownership information of companies receiving COVID-19 procurement contracts; and conduct COVID-19 specific audit and publish results.

25 June: The Liberian government has made significant improvements in the monitoring, control, and transparency of expenditure, including by tabulating and publishing detailed weekly reconciled spending reports, by requiring all budgetary entities to utilize the centralized financial management system, and by committing to the timely publication of an audit of crisis spending.

Business support and tax measures
On July 28, the budgetary support provided by the African development Bank of USD 14 million (or 0.43% of GDP) is announced to be partly targeting the business community and small and medium-size enterprises.
Financing social assistance and food relief
30 April: Government switched to take home meals, an approach they used during Ebola alongside their neighbor Sierra Leone.

25 May: The government is appropriating the amount of USD 25 million (or, 0.77% of GDP) to support food distribution to households in designated affected counties for a period of 60 days.

25 May: The Government is planning to take up the electricity bill of households in the affected counties for the duration of the STAY-AT-HOME. Cost of this measure is USD 4 million (0.12% of GDP).

On July 28, the budgetary support provided by the African development Bank of USD 14 million (or 0.43% of GDP) is announced to be tailored largely towards financing vulnerable female-headed household and school-going children.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
Anadolu Agency (AA)
_
World Bank
_
Ugo Gentilini
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
The OECD
_
IMF Policy Paper- CATASTROPHE CONTAINMENT AND RELIEF TRUST
_
All Africa

Libya

Tests p/million
16
Confirmed cases
134967 Source
Confirmed deaths
2216 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
15 April: The Government of National Accord (GNA) announced a package of LD 500 million (USD 355 million, or about 1% of GDP) in emergency COVID-19 related spending. The exact nature and use of this spending is yet to be specified, but it is believed to be aimed at supporting the medical system in expanding testing and responding to a possible surge in infections, once the coronavirus arrives in Libya.

10 May: In Libya, the requirement for the COVID-19 Health Sector Plan stands at USD 15 million (0.03% of GDP).

27 May: USD 130 million (0.3% of GDP) required to respond to humanitarian need in Libya's COVID-19 response.
Official COVID-19 links

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
397
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
37%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)

Domestic and external financing
10 May: Libya, has only received USD 4.5 million in funding (far less than 0.01% of GDP).

The 2020 HRP for Libya remains significantly underfunded and as of 10 May 2020 has received USD 15.6 million (less than 0.01% of GDP); 12% of the requirement. The Inter-Sector Coordination Group conducted an exercise that identifies USD 30.8 million (additional to the USD 15m for the COVID-19 Health Sector Plan) to be required for critical HRP activities addressing the direct and indirect
impacts of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable people in need over the next three months.

22 June: To date, Libya has received USD 39,1 million (0.1% of GDP) of the required funding to respond to humanitarian need as a result of the pandemic.

9 August: The EU Emergency Trust Fund has mobilised USD 23.7 million (0.05% of GDP)
.
9 September: African Development Bank grants Libya USD 0.5 million (less than 0.01% of GDP) emergency relief assistance for PPE protection against COVID-19.

4 November: USAID has provided grant funding to Libya of USD 14.7 million (0.02% of GDP) so as to bolster their public health response to the pandemic.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
On 15 March, a decree was passed banning export of personal protective equipment.

9 September: The GNA announced a 20% pay cut for civil servants.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 September: Libya has submitted non-binding confirmations of intent to participate in the COVAX Facility, a Gavi-coordinated pooled procurement mechanism for new COVID-19 vaccines. Libya would be able to use the mechanism to buy and procure COVID-19 vaccines at the cheaper prices Gavi has negotiated — but the country would have to allow COVAX to procure and buy the vaccines on its behalf.

5 November: In order to ensure a sufficient supply within the country, the Libyan government has prohibited the export of face masks, respiratory ventilation aids and sterilizing products.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
April 8: As a means to bolster the funds available to the Libyan state, the GNA has announced a pay cut to all civil servants of up to 20%, which is expected to be reallocated to other necessities within the budget.

9 September: the Government of National Accord (GNA) announced a package of LD 500 million (USD 366 million or 0.8% of GDP) in emergency COVID-19 related spending. While the exact nature and use of this spending was not specified, it was believed to be aimed at supporting the health system in expanding testing and responding to a possible surge in infections.
The total amount of funds approved by the Ministry of Finance to combat the Coronavirus pandemic had reached LD 847 million (USD 621 million or 1.3% of GDP), of which LD 562 million (USD 412 million or 1.2% of GDP) was allocated to the Ministry of Health. In addition, about LD 50 million (USD 37 million or 0.1% of GDP) were allocated to municipalities and local councils, about LD 95 million (USD 70 million or 0.14% of GDP) to the military for medicines and medical equipment, and about LD 41 million (USD 30 million of 0.05% of GDP) to Libyan embassies and consulates overseas.
Transparency, accountability and participation

Business support and tax measures
Financing social assistance and food relief
25 May: To prevent food prices from increasing, the Minister of Economy has adopted a regulation controlling the prices of 16 food items such as fruits, vegetables and meat. The regulation will be revised every 3 months.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
The Africa Report

Madagascar

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
19831 Source
Confirmed deaths
297 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
10 April: While the exact financing requirement associated with mitigating the health and economic impact of the crisis was not found to be available, it is estimated that the budget deficit will increase to 2% of GDP (from an expected surplus of about 1.1% before the shock).
Official COVID-19 links
http://www.sante.gov.mg/ministere-sante-publique/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
43
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
18%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
22%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
18%

Domestic and external financing
On 3 April, SDR 122.2 million was provided by the IMF through its Rapid Credit Facility.

On March 12, the World Bank provided a grant of USD 3.7 million (0.02% of GDP) to strengthen prevention against the COVID-19 pandemic, purchase materials and equipment, and train health workers. On April 2, 2020, the World Bank approved USD 100 million (0.7% of GDP) Development Policy Operation (DPO) for budget support to improve the human capital.

Madagascar is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon on debt servicing through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust.

Madagascar has been granted a loan through the IMF rapid credit facility of USD 165.99 million (1.2% of GDP), and was relieved of a further USD 4.19 million (0.03% of GDP).

15 May: The United States of America has granted Madagascar USD 2.5 million in health assistance.

26 June: The African Development Bank has approved USD 8.9 million in grant funding for 6 SADC countries (Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).

22 July:The African Development Bank Board approved concessional loan of USD 41.2 million (0.04% of GDP) to help Madagascar mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

On 30 July, the IMF approved a second disbursement of USD 171.9 million (or, 1.7% of GDP) through its Rapid Credit Facility.

6 September: World Bank approved a USD 75 million (0.54% of GDP) loan for development objectives to mitigate the impact of Covid-19. The loan feeds into Madagascar's Covid-19 Response Development Policy Financing strategy.

8 September: Madagascar is participating in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space that may be created by the DSSI is USD 24 million or 0.2% of GDP.

2 October: Madagascar is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon on debt servicing through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT). The second tranche of the CCRT worth USD 4.31 million (0.3% of GDP) has been provided.

28 October: The AFDB provided a concessional loan to Madagascar to the value of USD 17.2 million (or 0.12% of GDP)
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On the payments side, to better facilitate the use of electronic payments, the CBL has suspended fees and charges for most electronic transfers and point-of-sale outlets used by merchants and mobile money operators; and increased allowable daily limits. The bank has also increased the allowable daily and aggregate limits for mobile money transactions for a period of three months.

24 March: Madagascar’s central bank said on Tuesday it had injected 420 billion Ariary (USD 112.2 million, or 0.8% of GDP) in March through auctions into the banking system to help it cope with the coronavirus epidemic.

7 May: The central bank provided monetary policy support and acted to safeguard financial stability. The central bank has started to provide liquidity to the private sector, planning up to MGA 620 billion (USD 162 million or 1.2 % of GDP) to allow banks to defer delayed payments on existing loans and increase lending to businesses. There is also some evidence to suggest that the central bank has intervened in the exchange rate market slightly, although the extent of this intervention is unknown.

On 8 May, the central bank announced that all policy rates would remain unchanged, but that attention would be paid to the ever-changing nature of the economic impact of Covid-19 on Madagascar when deciding future rate changes.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
10 April: In the context of the IMF's support and as resources will be redirected by the central bank to the Treasury, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the central bank and the government will be signed. The MoU signed by the central bank and the ministry of economy and finance in the context of the ECF (part of the disbursement with the first review was used for budget support) will be updated and signed. It will specify (i) the maintenance of a specific government account at the central bank to receive IMF resources; (ii) the requirement that the government should hold foreign exchange balances only with the central bank; and (iii) the establishment of a clear framework agreement between the central bank and the ministry on responsibilities for servicing financial obligations.

On 25 June, the Madagascar parliament voted unanimously on updating various aspects of the 2020 Budgetary Finance Bill, mainly focusing on the recouping of revenue shortfalls and assisting the economy out of a Covid-19-led recession. A detailed version of this document will be promulgated in the coming weeks, once finalised.

29 July: The Ministry of the Economy and Finances in Madagascar published the amendment to the Budgetary Finance Bill for 2020.

6 September: Through Madagascar's Covid-19 Response Development Policy Financing, it has set up a dedicated Covid-19 response fund to transparently manage emergency spending. The policy fast tracks the opening of e-money accounts to facilitate rapid cash transfers to vulnerable populations.

31 October: Madagascar has passed its pandemic response budget, which outlined reprioritisations across some budget items in light of the pandemic.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
15 April: SADC Member States have established National Emergency Operations Centres to facilitate coordination of logistics and stockpiling for disasters at the national level. The SADC Pooled Procurement Services for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies is being implemented to provide sustainable availability and access to affordable and effective essential medicine and health commodities, and Member States have been encouraged to utilise this facility for the procurement of the needed supplies for prevention, treatment and control of COVID-19 and any other epidemics.

30 July: Medicine and medical equipment were exempted from paying import duties.

30 September: Madagascar has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
10 April: The government is working on a revised budget law that will consider additional fiscal and support measures and increased spending on epidemic prevention and control.

15 April: The government has begun to increasing health spending, with the prioritization and reorientation of spending, and through targeted investments to strengthen the health system, following the activation of the national contingency plan to fight the pandemic and with the support of development partners.

22 June: The authorities in Madagascar have amended their budget given the impact of Covid-19 on the country's economy. Various budget reallocations and additional spending components of the budget are expected, with the final version of the budget document yet to be approved for distribution. The budget for the immediate COVID-19 Emergency Response alone amounts to USD 132 million, this does not yet include the financial needs for social protection and recovery, which is being finalized through a socioeconomic plan.

29 July: The budget deficit, which was originally projected at 2.3% of national GDP, is now expected to balloon to roughly 6.3% as a direct result of COVID-19. This was driven by increased expenditure on COVID-related measures which have assisted the healthcare and social systems in combating the impact of COVID-19.

31 October: An additional line of Ar 8.7 billion (USD 2.2 million - 0.2% of GDP) was spent on medical consumables and pharmaceuticals. This amounts to 0.7% of the total pandemic response budget.
Transparency, accountability and participation
10 April: As part of the support from the IMF, the authorities have committed to transparency on the planning, using, monitoring and reporting of additional health spending, whose modalities will be discussed with the World Bank and other donors.

On 18 November, the Ministry of Economy and Finance set up its digital platform for the reporting and publication of Covid-19 related revenue and expenditure. The platform covers Covid-19 related expenditure from March 2020 to October 2020 and is an attempt at promoting budgetary transparency and better public financial management.

Business support and tax measures
10 April: After meetings with the private sector (including the banking sector), the government announced a number of tax measures, including some deadline extensions for certain declarations and payments, and some tax exemptions on social and health spending related to the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, in case of temporary impediments to work ("chomage technique"), employees can benefit from a government allowance while the employer social contributions are suspended. Companies facing difficulties will be able to benefit from a moratorium on their bank credits.

28 October: The Industrialisation and Financial Sector Support Project will aim to boost Madagascar's industrial sector. The project will aim to assist SMMEs in the finance sector and throughout the industrial value chain in light of COVID-19.

31 October: Ar 22.5 billion (USD 5.6 million - 0.40% of GDP) paid in transfers as a subsidy to the private sector as part of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response Fund Budget. This is approximately 87% of the amount committed to transfers to the private sector.
Financing social assistance and food relief
10 April: Cash-transfers and in-kind necessities will be provided to the poorest and those unemployed. First measures include government donations (notably rice, sugar, dry peas, soap, and oil) to the most vulnerable, notably the homeless and the elderly, as well as some workers in the informal sector particularly affected (such as taxi and other public transport drivers and street vendors).

10 April: Workers temporarily out of work can postpone repayment of their mortgage or consumer credit for the next three months.

30 April: President Andry Rajoelina has introduced a “social emergency plan” that includes food and cash disbursements (of USD 2.7 million or 0.02% of GDP) for those unable to work due to the lockdowns imposed on Antananarivo and Toamasina.

8 May: The Ministry of Public Health has authorised that, during the state of emergency, all pregnant women will be granted transportation to hospitals free of charge.

25 May: There is a cheap market organized by the State in each "district" (quartier) where people can buy at a low price 3 kg of rice and 1l of oil for around 1.5 USD, per family (half of the price).

31 October: The pandemic response budget provides Ar 7.7 billion (USD 2.03 million - 0.14% of GDP) worth of goods and services; these are classified as foodstuffs, clothing, water and electricity, and household supplies. These make up 0.6% of the total pandemic response budget.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
IMF Lending Tracker
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
Control Risks
_
Central Bank of Madagascar

IMF Country Report
_
Agence Francaise de Development

Malawi

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
32148 Source
Confirmed deaths
1053 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
8 April: The Malawian government's Preparedness and response planoutlines the need for USD 213 million (approximately 3% of GDP) to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Official COVID-19 links

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
32
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
9,83%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
11%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
9,83%

Domestic and external financing
Malawi’s president and cabinet will take a 10% salary cut and redirect the money towards the fight against coronavirus.

On 15 April, the World Bank approved USD 7 million (0.1% of GDP) in immediate funding to support Malawi’s response under a new Malawi COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness project. In addition to the new operation, USD 30 million has been made available from the Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Financing with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO) to strengthen the country’s response to the pandemic.

By 27 March, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has provided approximately 1.7 billion Kwacha (USD 2.3 million or 0.03% of GDP) to UNICEF to strengthen Malawi’s capacity to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak.

Malawi is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon on debt servicing through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust of USD 9.85 million (0.14% of GDP).

As of 1 May, the IMF has loaned Malawi USD 91 million (roughly 1.3% of GDP) through its rapid credit facility.

2 May: While the World Bank first released USD 7 million to Malawi in immediate relief funding, it then released an additional USD 97 million (1.4% of GDP) into the Covid-19 relief effort of Malawi.

15 May: The Global Partnership for Education approved an accelerated funding request of USD 10 million (0.12% of GDP), with a 7% agency fee for UNICEF (the grant agent in this case).

26 June: The African Development Bank has approved USD 8.9 million in grant funding for 6 SADC countries (Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).

23 July: Malawi to receive USD 45.07 million (or 0.6% of GDP) for national COVID-19 emergency response from the African Development Bank. The package comprises a loan of USD 24.48 million (or 0.35% of GDP), and a grant of USD 20.59 million (or 0.3% of GDP) as direct budget support, and complements an earlier sum of USD 8.9 million (of 0.1% of GDP) to six countries in the region, including Malawi

3 September: The World Bank has provided a conditional, concessional loan of USD 86 million (1.1% of GDP) to Malawi. The conditionality of the loan revolves around the use of the loan on supporting SMMEs who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

2 October: The IMF has provided a concessional loan to Malawi through the second tranche of its Rapid Credit Facility to the effect of USD 102 million (or, 1.36% of GDP).

2 October: The IMF offered an additional tranche of debt relief to Malawi through the CCRT, amounting to USD 10.15 million (0.14% of GDP)

26 October: The EU has allocated USD 46 million as a conditional grant (0.7% of GDP) as a means to bolster the country's COVID-19 social assistance response

10 Novemeber: The World Bank has provided debt relief to Malawi under its DSSI programme to the effect of USD 17.4 million, which translates to the creation of fiscal space equivalent to 0.2% of GDP.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
The President also directed the central bank to “cushion the foreign exchange market to ensure availability of forex and stability of the foreign exchange rate,” and work on an emergency liquidity assistance framework to support banks in the event of worsening liquidity conditions.

The decision by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) to slash the Liquidity Reserve Requirement (LRR) has instantly made available MWK12-billion into the banking system.

7 May: The domestic currency Liquidity Reserve Requirement (LRR) has been reduced by 125 basis points to 3.75 % (aligned with the foreign currency LRR) and the Lombard Rate has been reduced by 50 % to 0.2% above the policy rate. An Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) framework has been introduced to support banks in the event of worsening liquidity conditions and to provide support to banks on a case-by-case basis. However, financial sector buffers, including banks’ capital and liquidity buffers, are expected to counter risks to the banking system. To support small and medium enterprises (SMEs), commercial banks and micro-finance institutions will be, on a case-by-case basis, restructuring SME loans and providing a three-month moratorium on their debt service. Fees on mobile money transactions have been temporarily waived to encourage cashless transactions.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
20 May: In addition clearing arrears to inject liquidity into the economy, to prevent future arrears, procedures have been implemented that require Ministry of Finance vetting and registration of contract sums against available funding before contract signing.

10 June: The Public Finance Management Reforms (Chuma Cha Dziko) programme in Malawi has assisted in the drafting of emergency procurement procedures and ensuring that ex-post checks are fully integrated to properly direct goods and services.

30 September: Malawi is currently working on several upside and downside macro-fiscal scenarios around a central baseline.

30 September: Malawi is considering using the funding source segment within the existing COA to assign a code for “COVID-19 Response” and to track spending.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
15 April: SADC Member States have established National Emergency Operations Centres to facilitate coordination of logistics and stockpiling for disasters at the national level. The SADC Pooled Procurement Services for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies is being implemented to provide sustainable availability and access to affordable and effective essential medicine and health commodities, and Member States have been encouraged to utilise this facility for the procurement of the needed supplies for prevention, treatment and control of COVID-19 and any other epidemics.

end-April: The Ministry of Industry and Trade has challenged local manufacturers to rise to the occasion by engaging in import substitution amid the COVID-19 outbreak that has affected regional and global trade. In an interview, the ministry’s Principal Secretary Ken Ndala said local manufacturers have opportunity to produce for the local market, especially when the raw materials are sourced locally.

7 May: The Ministry of Health has adopted a national tool developed by UNICEF for tracking supplies of personal protective equipment, medical equipment and medicines available in-country. This tool will assist with mapping and tracking of these supplies. Based on the samples submitted by the local suppliers, latex gloves, apron plastic, heavy-duty gloves, surgical masks and N95 masks will be procured locally.

30 September: Malawi has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

5 November: The Government of Malawi has waived duties on the import of ventilators, oxygen concentrators, PPE, hand sanitisers and soaps to assist in the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

25 January: The rollout of first vaccines in Malawi is expected to start in April 2021. Ministry of Health has prioritized and the targeted group identified for vaccination in order of priority (as per WHO guideline): Frontline health care workers; Co-morbid: 10% (the older and Co-morbid population can get severe sickness and death); and >45years: 10.7%
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
end-March: The government’s response plan includes USD 20 million (0.25 % of GDP) in spending on health care and targeted social assistance programs. The details of the plan are still being refined.

20 May: The Government has committed to increase health sector outlays related to COVID-19, including developing testing capabilities, equipping treatment centers, importing medical equipment and supplies, hiring 2000 additional medical staff, and raising public awareness, by 0.3% of GDP in FY 2019/20 and at least 0.3% of GDP in FY 2020/21.

20 May: Injected liquidity into the economy, by paying domestic arrears accrued by the Roads Fund during 2012-19. The Auditor General has verified unpaid bills of close to 1.1% of GDP in the Roads Fund and certified that, of these unpaid bills, 0.8% of GDP were arrears as of end-December 2019. As of end-March 2020, the government had already cleared half of these (0.4% of GDP) and the other half is expected to be cleared by end-2020—assuming no additional pandemic-related spending needs. The remaining 0.3&% of GDP in unpaid bills are under dispute.

20 May: The FY 2020/21 budget will include fiscal measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. The budget will be submitted to Cabinet in May and is expected to be approved by Parliament by end-June. Contingency measures, should COVID-19 related revenue shortfalls and spending exceed projections at the time of budget approval, are being discussed. These could include re-prioritizing non-essential spending on goods and services and development projects in non-health areas and reduced purchases of motor vehicles, office equipment, and non-essential recurrent spending.

25 June: The Minister of Finance presented the 2020/21 National Budget, with the backdrop of a 35% drop in revenue collection. This budget has been pegged at K2.2 trillion (USD 29 billion or 28.3 % of GDP) representing a 9% increase from the previous years' budget. The Minister of Finance announced that it is impossible to reduce public debt in light of the COVID-19 related slowdown in the economy, and that should the pandemic extend towards December the domestic economy is likely to enter a recession. The budget reflects the efforts of government to continue to tackle four key issues; economic growth, job creation, economic empowerment, and infrastructure development. It was further revealed that the 2020/21 National Budget will incur a budget deficit of K632 billion (USD 850 million or 10% of GDP).

25 June: The Mwanza District Health Office was allocated K35 million (USD 47 000) for the fight against Covid-19; of which about K16.8 million (USD 22 500) has been spent on various activities related to the fight against the global pandemic.
Transparency, accountability and participation
1 May: As part of its commitment to the IMF, the Government commits to publish names of companies awarded contracts; publish tenders; publish bids; validate delivery of products and services; publish beneficial ownership information of companies receiving COVID-19 procurement contracts; publish COVID-19 expenditure reports; conduct COVID-19-specific audit and publish results.

25 June: Government has asked local councils in the country to uphold principles of transparency and accountability on the use of financial resources provided by government for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Government is interested to know how the resources that were sent to the councils have been used and what has been done on the ground at council level regarding the pandemic.

Business support and tax measures
7 May: The Government has announced a number of measures aimed at cushioning small- and medium-sized businesses, including tax breaks, a reduction in fuel prices and an increase in risk allowances for health workers.

7 May: The government will also increase loans under the Malawi Enterprise Development Fund that will help micro, small and medium scale businesses that have been seriously affected by the pandemic to 15 billion Malawi kwacha ($20.69 million) from 12 billion kwacha.

7 May: President Mutharika also ordered tobacco markets to be opened and allowed to operate without disruption to protect small farmers and bolster foreign currency receipts.

7 May: The Reserve Bank of Malawi has instructed banks to offer a three-month moratorium on interest payments on loans to small- and medium-sized businesses.

7 May: Tax waivers will be granted on imports of essential goods to manage and contain the pandemic.

25 June: A (USD 50 million or 6% of GDP) Emergency Cash Transfer Programme, which is mostly financed by development partners, will be implemented during May through to November to support small businesses in major urban areas. To address the immediate need, the World Food Programme (WFP) has distributed cash to almost 350,000 vulnerable people in the country’s most food-insecure districts.
Financing social assistance and food relief
7 May: An Emergency Cash Transfer Program of about USD 50 million (0.6 % of GDP), mostly financed by development partners, will be implemented during May-November 2020 to support small businesses in major urban areas.

20 May: The Government has committed to increase social assistance spending under the social cash transfer program (SCTP) to help the most vulnerable households mitigate the economic impact of the virus. In response to COVID-19, during FY 2019/20, under the foreign-financed portion of the SCTP, the number of beneficiaries—especially in urban areas—has been expanded through universal transfers to all residents of vulnerable urban neighborhoods. In FY 2020/21, the transfers provided to each recipient of the SCTP will be permanently raised by 40%. SCTP payments will be fast tracked, with a four-month payment covering up to June delivered in April.

21 May: Purchase and storage of maize by the Agricultural Development and Market Corporation (ADMARC, a state-owned enterprise), financed by borrowing from banks and 0.1% of GDP from the budget for each of FY 2019/20 and FY 2020/21. This measure is intended to mitigate the impact of partial market closures on farmers’ incomes and ensure food security for the second half of the year—especially for the most vulnerable.

25 June: 172,000 households are to receive a monthly payment of USD 50 through mobile money transfers from government.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
IMF Lending Tracker
_
World Bank
_
UNICEF
_
The Daily Times- Malawi
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
Africa News
_
ENSAfrica
_
The United Nations
_
All Africa News
_
Global Partnership for Education

IMF Country Report

Mali

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
8420 Source
Confirmed deaths
355 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
28 May: The expected financing requirement of a Covid-19 response plan has been estimated at approximately FCAF 15.5 billion (USD 26.7 million, or 0.2% of GDP).
Official COVID-19 links
http://www.sante.gov.ml/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
25
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
5,43%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
35%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
5,43%

Domestic and external financing
On 6 April the United Nations provided support of approximately USD 7 million (0.04% of GDP), some of which is in-kind support. An update on June 18 suggested that funding from the United Nations had increased from USD 7 million to USD 23 million (closer to 0.13% of GDP).

On 10 April, The World Bank has approved a USD 25.8 million (0.15% of GDP) International Development Association 50 % grant and 50% credit to support Mali’s response to Covid-19.

Mali is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon on debt servicing through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust.

On 31 March, the Prime Minister's announced the creation of a Special Solidarity Fund to fight against Covid-19.

As of 30 April, the IMF has offered Mali rapid credit facility relief to the tune of USD 166 Million (roughly 0.97% of GDP), and a further USD 10 million (0.06% of GDP) worth of debt pardon.

28 April: The European Union has announced additional support to Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, of 194 million Euros. This comes after the EU pledged to mobilise 449 million Euros earlier on in April for the same 5 countries.

9 June: The African Development Bank has approved grant funding of USD 20 million in response to the economic impact of Covid-19 for Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.

On 22 July, the African Development Bank approved, a budget support of USD 284.8 million to support the efforts of the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad) in the implementation of their response plans to the COVID-19 and economic recovery.

8 September: Mali is participating in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space that may be created by the DSSI is USD 52.3 million or 0.3% of GDP.
On 10 November, this was revised upwards to USD 82.5 million or 0.5% of GDP.

30 October: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon to Mali on debt servicing through the second tranche of Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust for USD 10.58 million (or 0.06% of GDP).
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
7 May: The regional central bank (BCEAO) for the West-African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) has taken preemptive steps to better satisfy banks’ demand for liquidity and mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on economic activity. The BCEAO adopted a full allotment strategy at a fixed rate of 2.5 % (the minimum monetary policy rate) thereby allowing banks to satisfy their liquidity needs fully at a rate about 25 basis lower than before the crisis. The BCEAO had also announced: (i) an extension of the collateral framework to access central bank refinancing to include bank loans to prequalified 1,700 private companies; (ii) a framework inviting banks and microfinance institutions to accommodate demands from customers with Covid19-related repayment difficulties to postpone for a 3 month renewable period debt service falling due, without the need to classify such postponed claims as non performing; and (iii) measures to promote the use of electronic payments. In addition, the BCEAO launched a special 3-month refinancing window at a fixed rate of 2.5 % for limited amounts of 3-month "Covid-19 T-Bills" to be issued by each WAEMU sovereign to help meet funding needs related to the current pandemic.

On 22 June, the BCEAO announced that it had decreased the tender operations rate from 2.5% to 2%, and that the interest rate on marginal loan windows was reduced to 4% from 4.5%.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
On April 27, Heads of States of the West-Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) adopted a Declaration suspending temporarily the application of the Union’s Pact for Convergence, Stability, Growth and Solidarity among its member-countries. This suspension will allow member-countries to raise their overall fiscal deficit temporarily and use the additional external support provided by donors in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 July: The Mali government has announced a 3-month exemption from customs duties on the import of basic food (including rice and milk).

30 September: Mali has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

5 November: The government bans exports of personal protective equipment (e.g. masks, gels) and certain food products (rice, millet, sugar, milk, pasta)

25 January: Through COVAX, Mali's government says it has chosen to use the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in its plan to initially immunise 4.2 million people by the start of April. The council of ministers on Thursday in a statement released on social networks said it wanted to buy more than 8.4 million doses of the COVID vaccines which would cost more than $58m. It however explained the funds would be sought with assistance from the financial contribution of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization and the World Bank.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
On March 17, 2020, the President of the Republic announced the availability of an envelope of 6.3 billion CFA (USD 10.4 million or 0.06% of GDP) to fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. An action plan for the prevention and response to COVID-19 has been developed by the Government. This plan is budgeted up to 3.3 billion FCFA and revolves around prevention and management, that is to say the response.

By 23 April, the health response plan had been revised upwards to 0.5 % of GDP to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and strengthen its medical care capacity, in collaboration with the World Health Organization.

30 April: response plan is expected to widen the fiscal deficit from 3.5% of GDP projected prior to the crisis to 6.2% of GDP in 2020.

28 May: An amended Financial Bill has come into effect in light of the economic impact of Covid-19 on Mali's economy. The amendment has, among other things, allocated funds to a Covid-19 response plan for the country. The amended Financial Bill 2020 was published, along with an amended 2020 budget. The health budget in the country has been allocated a further FCAF 40 billion (USD 68.8 million, or 0.4% of GDP). For the full budget amendment, see the following French-only link: https://www.finances.gouv.ml/lois-des-finances/projet-de-loi-de-finances-rectificative-2020 .

15 September: COVID-19 prevention and medical support spending registered 60 percent execution; while the execution of other COVID-related spending, including spending on vulnerable households, had not yet started.
Transparency, accountability and participation
7 May: As part of their commitment to the IMF, authorities commit to quarterly reporting of all COVID-19 spending, the commission of an independent and robust third-party audit of this spending in a year's time, and to publish its results. The Government will also publish regularly on its website documentation on large public procurement projects, together with ex-post validation of delivery along with the name of awarded companies and the name of their beneficial owner(s).

Business support and tax measures
No official measures taken by the Government in favor of enterprises. However, meetings between the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, the Prime Minister and the National Employers Council took place.

7 May: A package of economic measures was also announced to ease liquidity constraints on ailing firms, including an SMEs-support guarantee fund, clearing the budget spending float, granting tax deferral and relief to ease liquidity constraints on the hardest-hit companies, especially in the hospitality sector (hotels, restaurants, transportation).

30 July: The Mali government granted a 3-month exemption from VAT on electricity and water tariffs for businesses.

15 September: The government has provided revenue support to electricity and water SOEs so as to ensure their continued operations.
Financing social assistance and food relief
7 May: The setup of a special fund to provide targeted income support to the poorest households, a mass distribution of grain and food for livestock to poorest households, the supply of electricity and water free of charge to the poorest consumers for the months of April and May 2020, a 3-month exemption from VAT on electricity and water tariffs, and a 3-month exemption from customs duties on the import of basic food (rice and milk).

7 May: 10 million masks were distributed to the population by the state.

13 May: The PARSANTE project has assisted with providing healthcare services and healthcare items (hydroalcoholic solutions, soap, thermometers, masks and gloves) to Malians.

25 May: Free distribution of fifty-six thousand tonnes of cereals and sixteen thousand tonnes of livestock food to vulnerable populations affected by COVID-19.

30 July: The government is implementing a package of social measures to support the most vulnerable households. Included in this package of social measures is the setup of a special fund to provide targeted income support, as well as assist in distributing grain and food for livestock to the poorest households.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
World Bank
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
Africa News
_
The European Commission

IMF Country Report

Mauritania

Tests p/million
128
Confirmed cases
17235 Source
Confirmed deaths
441 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
29 April: Balance of payments need stemming from the COVID-19 crisis are estimated at USD 370 million (7.1% of GDP). USD 210 million (4% of GDP) is required in additional health, medical supplies, social protection, SME support, foodstuff stocks, and security-related expenditures to address the pandemic.
Official COVID-19 links
http://www.sante.gov.mr/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
60
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
5,53%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
51%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
5,53%

Domestic and external financing
On 2 April, The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a USD 5.2 million (0.1% of GDP) grant from the International Development Association to support Mauritania in strengthening the national public health preparedness to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new project complements USD 2 million (0.03% of GDP) of support provided under the existing Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE III) project for the national COVID-19 response plan.

The government on March 25 announced the creation of an emergency fund of about USD 80 million (1.1 % of GDP) for urgent procurements of medical supplies and equipment; subsidies to 30,000 poor households; and financial support to small individual businesses.

To help provide much-needed resources for health services and social protection programs, the IMF Board on April 23, 2020 granted to Mauritania an emergency financing of SDR 95.68 million (USD 130 million, or 2.5% of GDP) under the Rapid Credit Facility. The country has also appealed to development partners for additional financing.

28 April: The European Union has announced additional support to Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, of 194 million Euros. This comes after the EU pledged to mobilise 449 million Euros earlier on in April for the same 5 countries

31 May: UNICEF is attempting to earmark external grant financing for Mauritania of USD 17.3 million (roughly 0.3% of GDP) in order to assist the country with its Covid-19 response efforts.

9 June: The African Development Bank has approved grant funding of USD 20 million in response to the economic impact of Covid-19 for Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.

On 22 July, the African Development Bank approved, a budget support of USD 284.8 million to support the efforts of the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad) in the implementation of their response plans to the COVID-19 and economic recovery.

On 31 July, The World Bank Board of Directors approved today a USD 70 million (roughly 1.3% of GDP) grant from the International Development Association (IDA) to support Mauritania in strengthening the response to the pandemic.

3 September: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board has approved the authorities’ request for an augmentation of access of SDR 20.24 million (about USD 28.7 million or 0.55% of GDP) to address higher-than-anticipated financing needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The augmentation brings total access under the ECF arrangement to SDR 136.16 million (about USD 193 million or 3.7%). The completion of this review allows Mauritania to draw SDR 36.80 million (about USD 52.2 million or 1% of GDP).

8 September: Mauritania is participating in the DSSI, given that the country is at a high risk for external and overall debt distress. This DSSI creates fiscal space of USD 90 million (or 1.2% of GDP). On 10 November, this debt relief was inceased slightly to USD 90.8 million (still 1.2% of GDP)

9 September: The World Bank’s Development Committee and the G20 Finance Ministers endorsed the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) in response to a call by the World Bank and the IMF to grant debt-service suspension to the poorest countries to help them manage the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

31 October: The Global Partnership for Education has provided a conditional grant to Mauritania of USD 3.5 million (0.07% of GDP). This grant funding needs to be spent on bolstering the education system in light of the pandemic by making online learning resources available, inter alia.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
To ease liquidity conditions and support the financing of the economy, the Central Bank has reduced the policy rate from 6.5 % to 5 %; marginal lending rate from 9 % to 6.5 %; and banks’ reserve requirements from 7 % to 5 %.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
30 June: A COVID-19 fund has been set up but with no involvement from the Ministry of Finance.

28 August: Specific procedures have been set for direct purchases of supplies from the COVID-19 fund.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 September: Mauritania has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

5 November: In order to ease the impact of the pandemic on households, the government of Mauritania will exempt various food products from taxes and customs duties until the end of 2020
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
End-March:The government is expected to announce soon a large set of measures to further address the pandemic and support the population and the economy, including financial assistance to negatively impacted people and businesses.

End-April: The Ministry of Health has prepared a USD 10 million (0.13% of GDP) short-term response plan to contain the spread of COVID-19. The plan includes the procurement of medical supplies and equipment as well as the recruitment of additional medical staff.

29 April: Government has programmed additional budget outlays of USD 143 million (2.2% of NEGDP) for health (USD 40 million), direct support for agricultural production (USD 53 million), direct support for SMEs (USD 18 million), and build-up of stocks of essential foodstuffs (USD 32 million) and stand ready to take further social action if the fluid situation deteriorates.
Transparency, accountability and participation
29 April: The Government is committed to full transparency in the use of resources deployed for the emergency response, to channel all spending through the budget (including the social assistance fund), and to track, account for, and report in a transparent manner. To help deter misappropriation of crisis mitigation funds and assist fundraising from donors, the authorities will set up a supervisory committee for the social assistance fund and will ask the Court of Accounts to audit crisis mitigation spending once the crisis abates and to publish the results. They will also publish information on the Ministry of Finance’s website regarding public procurement contracts related to crisis mitigation, the names of the awarded companies and their beneficial owners, and ex-poste validation of delivery.

Business support and tax measures
29 April: Government has waived taxes on and SMEs (the government’s contribution to the fund represents about $67 million or 1% of GDP so far).

18 November: Heads of families working in the traditional fishing sector are exempt from all taxes and fees until the end of the year.
Financing social assistance and food relief
31 March: Measures to mitigate the socio-economic impact of these decisions are being implemented, such as the exemption of 174 707 households from paying electricity bills for two months. On April 8, the army started food distribution to vulnerable households in Nouakchott.

29 April: the authorities have deployed a sanitary preparedness plan to prevent and response to the pandemic. To mitigate the economic and social impact, they have set up a special social assistance fund (open to private funding) to procure urgent medical supplies and support 30 000 vulnerable households (about USD 14 million or 0.03% of GDP, in line with the existing cash transfer program supported by the World Bank).

10 June: In association with the Mauritanian government, the UNHCR and the World Food Programme have provided food and cash assistance to all refugees in the Mbera camp.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
IMF Lending Tracker
_
World Bank
_
Reliefweb International
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
The European Commission
_
The United Nations Refugee Agency

IMF Staff Country Reports

Mauritius

Tests p/million
6510
Confirmed cases
619 Source
Confirmed deaths
10 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
The authorities have announced plans to increase public health spending by Rs 208 million (USD 5.2 million, or 0.04% of GDP), with half already disbursed. There are a range of other fiscal support measures including an additional Rs 4 billion (USD 100 million, or 0.8 % GDP) in financing.

31 August: The expected financing requirement of a COVID-19 response plan has been re-estimated at approximately Rs 25.2 billion (USD 627.7 million, or 5.6% of GDP).
Official COVID-19 links
http://www.covid19.mu/

http://mof.govmu.org/English/Covid-19/Pages/default.aspx

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
532
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
9,96%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
48%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
9,96%

Domestic and external financing
30 March: Through the Finance and Audit (COVID-19 Solidarity Fund) Regulations 2020, Government has set up a COVID-19 Solidarity Fund to provide support to the population and the community at large who are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The regulations do not set any “sunset” clause but require the remaining balances of the fund to accrue to the Consolidated Fund. Some countries provide for various uses of these balances.

22 May: The African Development Bank has approved a 188 million Euro loan (USD 210 million, or roughly 1.5% of GDP) to the Republic of Mauritius to finance a national budget support programme to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group’s Board of Directors said Friday.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
The Bank of Mauritius (BOM) reduced the Key Repo Rate from 3.35 % to 2.85 % on March 10. On March 13, the BOM also adopted a set of measures focused on economic operators which are being directly impacted by COVID-19, including: i) reduction of cash reserve ratio - lower cash reserve ratio from 9 to 8 %; ii) special relief amount of Rs 5 billion (1 % or GDP) - special credit line for affected firms to be administered via the commercial banks to meet affected operators’ cash flow and working capital requirements; iii) moratorium on capital repayment for loans - commercial banks will provide a moratorium of six months on capital repayment for existing loans of affected economic operators; iv) easing of banking guidelines - the BOM also eased supervisory guidelines on handling credit impairments and v) savings bonds - Rs 5 billion (1 % of GDP) of 2.5 % two-year BOM bonds which will be made available to retail investors. On March 23, BOM announced additional support measures: i) support to households - six-month moratorium on household loans at commercial banks, while BOM will bear interest payments for households with the lowest income; ii) Special Foreign Currency (USD) Line of Credit ($300 million) - targeting operators having foreign currency earnings, including SMEs; iii) Swap arrangement to support import-oriented businesses (initial amount $100 million); and iv) Shared ATM Services - waving ATM fees during national confinement period.

On 16 April, the repo rate was cut further from 2.85% to 1.85%.

On 21 May, while the repo rate remained the same as it was in April, the central bank in Mauritius decided to intervene in the foreign exchange market in order to restore the purchasing power of the domestic currency.

2 June: The Cash Reserve Ratio applicable to commercial banks has been reduced from 9% to 8%. It aims at supporting commercial banks to further assist businesses which are being directly impacted by COVID-19.

29 June: It was announced that the Monetary Policy Committee would meet to discuss potential changes to various policy rates on 8 July.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
The Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development constituted the COVID-19 Managing Committee.

13 May: COVID-19 and the Quarantine Bills were introduced into the National Assembly.

23 June: Authorities submitted the Supplementary Appropriation Bill (2019-2020) at the National Assembly.

On 7 August, the Government of Mauritius assented to the publication of the 2020 Finance Act. This act gives effect to relief measures outlined in the 2020/21 budget speech relating to the COVID-19 pandemic
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
15 April: SADC Member States have established National Emergency Operations Centres to facilitate coordination of logistics and stockpiling for disasters at the national level. The SADC Pooled Procurement Services for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies is being implemented to provide sustainable availability and access to affordable and effective essential medicine and health commodities, and Member States have been encouraged to utilise this facility for the procurement of the needed supplies for prevention, treatment and control of COVID-19 and any other epidemics.

30 April: Hand sanitiser, other breathing appliances and gas masks, excluding protective masks having neither mechanical parts nor replaceable filters, and protective masks are being made zero-rated for VAT purposes. According to MRA, the measure will cost around Rs 5.5 million on a yearly basis.

5 November: The country has lifted the temporary ban on importation of live animals and fish from all EU countries, as well as China, Iran and South Korea to prop up the country's food security during the pandemic.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
On 13 March it was announced, additional funds of Rs 208 million (USD 5.2 million or 0.04% of GDP) are being made available to the Ministry of Health and Wellness for the acquisition of new medical accessories and equipment, of which Rs 108 million have already been disbursed. There are a range of other fiscal support measures including an additional Rs 4 billion (USD 100 million or 0.8 % GDP) in spending/financing.


On 4 June, the Mauritian government presented the amended 2020/2021 budget. The budget prioritises economic responses post-Covid, across various key sectors of the economy were discussed at a sectoral level. The Budget, seeks to maintain an equilibrium while ensuring the development of the country, promoting the welfare of the population, catering for vulnerable people of the social ladder and preserving employment.These allocations include the provision of MUR 12 billion (USD 303 million or 2.1% of GDP) for the construction of 12,000 social housing units, earmarking of MUR 34 million (USD 856,967) for support to local artists, and MUR 35 million (USD 882,172) for preservation and rehabilitation of historical and cultural sites. These are further broken down in English and French at the following link: http://budget.mof.govmu.org/

23 June: Authorities submitted the Supplementary Appropriation Bill (2019-2020) at the National Assembly. The revised budget breakdown is as follows: 1) Rs 1.2 billion (USD 29.9 million- 0.2% of GDP) for the purchase of Medical Supplies in connection with the COVID-19; 2) Rs 11.billion (USD 274 million or 2% of GDP) in respect of the Wage Assistance Scheme put in place to provide financial support to employees of the private sector who became technically unemployed during the COVID-19 lockdown/curfew period; 3) Rs 45 million (USD 1.2 million, or 0.01% of GDP) for basic food items distributed to families on the Social Register of Mauritius, those receiving Carers' Allowance as well as residents of homes in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic; 4) Rs 10 billion (USD 249 million- roughly 1.8% of GDP) as transfer to the National Resilience Fund for implementing schemes and programmes to ensure resilience in the wake of COVID-19.

31 August: The authorities have announced plans to increase general public health spending by Rs 1.3 billion (USD 32.4 million, or 0.3% of GDP)
Transparency, accountability and participation
2 May: The accounts of the COVID-19 Soliddarity Fund formed by the Mauritian government and the Annual Report would be audited by the Director of Audit.

2 August: The government pounced on the opportunity to profit from the repatriation of over 3,500 Covid-19 stranded Mauritian workers abroad through a corrupt repatriation plan. The plan was coordinated in an exclusive public-private “partnership” between the government and Air Mauritius, a subsidiary of Mauritius Air Holdings Ltd, a major Mauritian tourism corporation, of which the government owns over 43%. The Jugnauth administration and Air Mauritius restricted travel to the island by any other means but its own. Then, it raised the prices in an attempt to aid the airline’s falling shares.

12 August: The Mauritiun government passed the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Act for 2020, some of which details various transparency measures used to by the state to ensure that COVID-19-linked expenditure is above the board.

1 September: In Mauritius, the government portal includes a dedicated section on COVID-19 support detailing the various relief measures in implementation.

Business support and tax measures
The State Investment Corporation will raise Rs 2.7 billion (0.5 % of GDP) to make equity investments in troubled firms.

Government is waiving the fees payable by sellers of vegetables, haberdashery and general merchandise in markets around the island during the curfew period.

On 13 March it was announced, to support to economic operators, across all sectors of activities including local manufacturing and SMEs will require mobilisation of Rs 9 billion, out of which Rs 1 billion will be from the Consolidated Fund and the remaining Rs 8 billion from Public Bodies.

The Development Bank of Mauritius will give Rs 200 million (USD 5 million or 0.04 % of GDP) in credit for firms short on cash.

Affected firms will receive extra tax deductions.

Government has implement a Wage Assistance Scheme during the COVID-19 Curfew Period through the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA). Every business in the private sector will be entitled to receive an amount equivalent to the 15 days’ basic wage bill for all of its employees subject to a cap.

Eligible Self-Employed individuals will receive a financial support of Rs 5 100 (i.e. 50% of Guaranteed Income) for the period 16th March 2020 to 15th April 2020.

In addition to the moratorium of 6 months on capital repayments, eligible SMEs will also benefit from a moratorium of 6 months on interest payments on their existing loans with Commercial Banks.

15 May: Companies contributing to the Covid-19 solidarity fund in the country now qualify for various tax deductions. Further, companies having benefited from wage subsidies may be subject to a levy once the balance sheet of the company has recovered.

4 June: In order to ease business conditions in light of Covid-19, the Mauritius Revenue Authority will regulate fees on freight, whilst various fees for reinstating companies will be revised downwards from Rs 15 000 to Rs 5 000 (from USD 375 to USD 125). It was also announced that the Development Bank of Mauritius would offer loans at concessional rates for businesses within the agriculture sector. The same announcement pointed out that Rs 19 million (USD 476 000) would also go towards supporting firms and employees in the cultural/entertainment industry, given the economic impact of Covid-19 in the industry. The government introduced a levy for a company with annual gross income exceeding MUR 500 million or forming part of a
group with annual gross income exceeding MUR 500 million. Insurance, property and financial institutions will contribute 0.3% of annual gross profits, while other companies will contribute 0.1%.

5 June: Hotels operating in the tourism industry have been allowed to convert some rooms into residential structures due to Covid-19, and have been provided with waivers on state land rental payments and license fees due to Covid-19..

26 June: Tax return deadlines have been extended, with tax returns filed before or on 31 July not subject to interest/penalty assessments.

5 November: The Mauritian government has earmarked Rs 9 billion (USD 224 million, or 1.6% of GDP) to ensure that unemployment in the country doesn't rise drastically due to the pandemic. This funding will be made available from November until the end of June 2021, and will constitute the following interventions:
- Absorbing more individuals into training programmes to ensure that their employability be maintained in the ICT, construction, manufacturing, agro-processing, renewable energy and ICT sectors
- Rolling out employment support schemes to benefit SMMEs who collectively employ 11 000 individuals with a monthly payment of Rs 10 200 per capita (USD 253)
- Rolling out the air freight scheme which places the national carrier under administration and will assist in ensuring that jobs are preserved during the pandemic
Financing social assistance and food relief
15 April: All labor contracts set to expire this year are extended through December 3, 2020. The government will also introduce a Wage Support Scheme to limit the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 by providing financial support to employees who would become unemployed on a temporary basis.

15 April: Funds of an amount of Rs 2.6 billion (USD 65.5 million, or 0.5% of GDP) will be provided under the Wage Assistance Scheme.

30 March: Mauritian households impacted by COVID-19 may request their commercial banks for a moratorium of 6 months on capital repayments on their existing household loans as from the 1st April 2020.
In addition, for households earning a combined monthly basic salary of up to Rs 50 000 (USD 1 250) the Bank of Mauritius will bear the interest payable for the period 1st April 2020 to 30th June 2020 on their outstanding household loans with commercial banks.

30 May: Enterprises will be entitled to receive an amount equivalent to the 15 days’ basic wage bill for all of its employees drawing a monthly basic wage of up to Rs 50 000 (USD 1 250) subject to a cap of Rs 12 500 (USD 315) per employee.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
Africa Health Stats
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
ENSAfrica
_
Bank of Mauritius

Morocco

Tests p/million
260
Confirmed cases
484159 Source
Confirmed deaths
8645 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
7 May: Moroccan authorities have authorised a special Covid relief fund, which amounts to USD 3.2 billion (2.7% of national GDP), and will be financed by a mixture of government and voluntary contributions.

5 November: An updated estimate of the plan to ease economic recovery and recover employment levels which were weakened drastically due to COVID-19 envisages a financing package of DRH 120 billion (USD 13.2 billion, or roughly 11.1% of GDP). Just over two thirds of this USD 13.2 billion will be used to finance loans guaranteed by the state.
Official COVID-19 links
http://www.covidmaroc.ma/Pages/AccueilAR.aspx

https://www.sante.gov.ma/Pages/Accueil.aspx

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
218
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
9%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
49%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
9%

Domestic and external financing
On 6 April, it was announced that Morocco's government will suspend its USD 3 billion foreign-debt ceiling, allowing it to borrow more money as it tries to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

The EU has granted 450 million Euros (0.43% of GDP) to Morocco to help with its emergency fiscal package.

On April 7, the Moroccan authorities purchased all available resources (about USD 3 billion or 2.5% of GDP) under the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) arrangement with the IMF. The authorities will use funds to cope with the social and economic impact of COVID-19 and to maintain strong external buffers.

King Mohammed VI launched the Special Fund for Management and Response to COVID-19 earlier this month. The fund initially held USD 1 billion (or 0.83% of GDP), a figure that more than doubled thanks to donations from public and private sector institutions, as well as individuals. Fund donors include King Mohammed VI, government officials, and several banks. Morocco’s Ministry of Economy launched an SMS messaging option for anyone wishing to contribute to national efforts under the fund.

30 May: The EU has contributed 157 million Euros to Morocco's special fund, and has pledged more grants by the end of the year.

16 June: The World Bank has allocated USD 13.01 million (0.01% of GDP) of undisbursed funds from its existing health programme, and raised a further USD 35 million (0.03% of GDP), to assist in Morocco's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

31 August: The European Investment Bank has released the first tranche (USD 118 million or 0.1% of GDP) of a concessional loan to assist in the country's healthcare response to COVID-19

4 November: The African Development Bank has made USD 140.2 (0.1% of GDP) million of loan funding available to Morocco in attempts to bolster their COVID-19 response efforts.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On 19 March, the central bank reduced the policy rate by 25 bps to 2.0%.

On 16 June, the Bank Al-Maghrib decided on decreasing the policy rate from 2% to 1.5%.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
End-April: The Moroccan government has launched a new economic monitoring committee to follow the developments of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and mitigate its impact on the national economy. The new committee will develop measures and mechanisms to closely follow up on the developments of the epidemic and find ways to support the economic sectors directly affected by the global health threat, notably tourism and transport. Chaired by Minister of Economy.

12 May: According to a circular issued by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministries and the High Commission, a single portal for administrative correspondence, was created to allow administrations and citizens to interact with administration and send their administrative correspondence remotely. An electronic administrative correspondence service has also been set up to manage incoming and outgoing mail, as well as those exchanged between internal services at the central and decentralised levels of administrations and to enable administrations to dematerialise administrative documents, electronic signature and workflow management. All public administrations will be able to use this application for free , in addition to that, the agency of digital development offer personalized assistance according to the specific needs of each other, in parallel training is provided remotely to help users to take full advantage of these solutions.

20 July: Moroccan authorities have revised and tabled their budget.

28 August: Morocco, like several other Francophone countries, has established special earmarked accounts, comptes d’affectation spéciale. On the revenue side, these accounts are meant to be funded primarily from resources outside the state budget, such as donations from individuals and firms and donor grants. On the spending side, they are usually subject to simplified, lighter-than-usual authorisation procedures, but still managed by the Treasury.

16 November: In light of the pandemic, the Finance Law for 2020 has been amended and passed to support the housing sector.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 September: Morocco has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

5 November: Morocco has implemented the following import and export restrictions and liberalisations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Customs duties on certain foodstuffs have been suspended
- Certain PPE items now require export licenses to be exported (a prohibitive measure meant to decrease exports of these goods)

1 January: Morocco ordered 65 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China, and AstraZeneca vaccine from Serum Institute India.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
31 March: Morocco reallocated 150 million Euros from the current budget to the Special Fund for the Management of Covid-19.

20 July: Moroccan authorities have revised their budget. The revised budget contains no major tax measures but aims to provide economic relief while limiting the rise in spending. The authorities estimate that around 1.5% of GDP in spending will be geared towards supporting the economic recovery and have enhanced the mechanism for state guarantees on bank loans to SMEs, under which 1.7% of GDP in loans has been extended so far. The revised budget also increases the government's investment spending by 22% (2.5% of GDP). Higher spending on health and other goods and services is offset through savings on payroll and other recurrent expenditure as well as through lower spending on butane gas subsidies as international prices are now projected to be 17% below the initial budget assumptions.

The government has also allocated MAD16 billion (USD 1.7 billion or 1.5% of GDP) to support state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Around MAD6 billion has been earmarked to shoring up the national airline, Royal Air Maroc (RAM), including MAD2.5 billion (USD 270 million or 0.23% of GDP) in loan guarantees. Support to RAM will be conditional on the implementation of a comprehensive restructuring plan, including a 30% reduction in capacity and headcount, according to media reports. Total SOE debt is comparatively high, at around 25% of GDP, of which around 14% of GDP is guaranteed by the sovereign, raising contingent liability risks in a volatile economic environment.

21 October: In order to finance increased healthcare expenditure and expenditure on the recovery of the housing market in Morocco, the proposed Finance Bill for 2020 reprioritised USD 7 billion from the education sector. This number is expected to be updated once the finalised Finance Bill is published.
Transparency, accountability and participation

Business support and tax measures
On March 16, the Economic Monitoring Committee CVE announced that all companies with an annual turnover of less than MAD 20 million (USD 2 million) can, if they wish, postpone their tax payment deadlines from March 31 to the end of June. Moroccan companies with an annual turnover equal to or higher than MAD 20 million can request a postponement of their tax payment deadlines.

30 March: Companies can benefit from the suspension of social security contributions for the period from March 1 to June 30, 2020 with graceful remission of late payment increases for this period for employers in difficulty.

On 24 April, Companies can benefit from the suspension of social security contributions for the period from March 1 to June 30, 2020 with graceful remission of late payment increases for this period for employers in difficulty.

12 May: The launch of the product DAMANE OXYGENE, a guarantee product put in place by MEFRA with the Caisse Centrale de Garantie (CCG), aims to provide coverage for an exceptional overdraft up to 95% for SMEs and mid-sized companies with a turnover of between 200 million and 500 million DH (between USD 20 million and USD 50 million), and whose activities have been impacted by the crisis.

28 May: Deadline for CIT returns due 31 March 2020 is extended until the end of the emergency state- practical aspects yet to be confirmed as this is supposed to cover only taxpayers encountering difficulties due to the current crisis.

24 July: Responding to the COVID-19 impact on the Moroccan economy, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided USD 100 million (0.9% pf GDP) loan to Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) for on-lending to local private businesses that have been severely impacted by the pandemic.

On August 6, the authorities announced a plan to sustain the economic recovery and employment levels. The plan envisages the mobilization of DRH 120 billion (USD 13 million or 0.01% of GDP), mainly in the form of credit guarantees to firms and funding for a newly -created “Fund for Strategic Investment”, which will finance investment projects (including PPPs) and sustain the capital of firms that needs equity injections to develop their business. In addition, the government has decided to accelerate payment to its suppliers to support businesses.

16 November: The 2020 Finance Law has been amended to provide COVID-19 assistance to companies in the real estate sector in the following ways:
- The government has suspended the real estate price reference framework until such time as the market gains back some of its losses
- Registration fees are exempted for purchasers of social housing purchasing at prices between MAD 140 000 and MAD 250 000 (USD 15 000 to USD 27 400) in the hopes of boosting demand for real estate in the sector until December 31 2020
- Registration fees have been cut by as much as 50% on residential land or land intended for residential use, provided that the price of such land does not exceed MAD 2.5 million (USD 274 000)
Financing social assistance and food relief
End-April: Employees registered under the National Social Security Fund (CNSS) will benefit from a MAD 2,000 (USD 200) monthly stipend, in addition to family allowances and health coverage. Meanwhile, workers in the informal sector who cannot practice their activity due to the lockdown will receive compensation through the National Medical Assistance Program (RAMED). Households of two people or less will receive MAD 800 (USD 80) monthly, while households of three to four people will receive MAD 1,000 (USD 100). Households of more than four members will benefit from MAD 1,200 (USD 120) monthly.

End-April: The Economic Watch Committee (Comité de veille économique) (CVE) decided to activate a mobile payment device to transfer cash to workers operating in the informal sector adversely affected by COVID-19 (only for those who have been directly affected by the confinement. The electronic cash transfer program will reach half of the informal sector workers (estimated 3 million workers to receive payment). The speed and scale is facilitated by the use of a health insurance fee waiver registry in the first phase and a simple payment mechanism.

End-April: The CNSS will ensure transfer of family allowance/child allowance and reimbursements of medical expenses through the Compulsory Health Insurance (Assurance Maladie Obligatoire).

End-April: Formal employees who lose their jobs and are registered with the pension fund will receive 2,000 dirhams ($203) a month (MAD1,000 for March, MAD2,000 for April, May and June) and defer debt payments until 30 June.

28 May: Deadline for filing individual income tax returns due before 1 April is extended until the end of the emergency state - practical aspects yet to be confirmed.

2 June: The government has implemented medical aid coverage and a pension scheme from which approximately 11 million Moroccans (5 million self-employed workers and their beneficiaries) will benefit.

9 September: The government also took measures to support households working in the informal sector. Households’ benefiting from the non-contributory health insurance (RAMED) received a monthly mobile payment of DRH 800-1200 (USD 80-120). Other households which do not benefit from RAMED can claim cash support by registering online. In April, 85 percent of eligible households in the informal sectoral were covered

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
IMF Lending Tracker
_
Public Debt Net
_
Morocco World News
_
Ugo Gentilini
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
The European Commission
_
The OECD

Mozambique

Tests p/million
24
Confirmed cases
59914 Source
Confirmed deaths
665 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
11 May: While more details regarding the expected financing needs of the Mozambican Covid-19 response plan are being fleshed out, the government expects the health portion of its intervention plan alone to cost close to USD 260 million (approximately 1.77% of GDP) .
Official COVID-19 links
https://covid19.ins.gov.mz/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
33
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
8,35%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
7,67%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
8,35%

Domestic and external financing
The Government of Mozambique has asked for USD 700 million (roughly 4.8% of GDP) from development partners to help combat the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mozambique is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon on debt servicing through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust

On 27 April, the IMF has provided Mozambique with a loan equivalent to USD 309 Million (2.1% of GDP), under their rapid credit facility. This is earmarked for the healthcare sectors, as well as for support to SMEs within the country.

6 May: The EU is expected to provide 110 million Euros (approximately 0.84% of GDP) to assist Mozambique in their Covid-19 containment measures.

4 June: The Humanitarian Country Team in Mozambique has earmarked funding of USD 68.1 million (0.5% of GDP) to assist Mozambique with its Covid-19 response.

26 June: The African Development Bank has approved USD 8.9 million in grant funding for 6 SADC countries (Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).

8 September: Mozambique is participating in the World Bank's Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space created by this DSSI amounts to USD 249.2 million, or approximately 1.6% of the country's GDP. This was increased to USD 290 million, or roughly 1.9% of GDP

2 October: A second tranche from the IMF's CCRT has provided Mozambique with USD 13.35 million (0.04% of GDP) worth of debt relief.

22 October: The World Bank approved a USD 100 million grant (roughly 0.3% of GDP) to assist Mozambique in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On 22 March, the Bank of Mozambique announced measures to enhance liquidity in foreign and national currency, including a USD 500 million (3.3% of GDP) credit line for banks and relaxation of conditions for restructuring debts of bank customers to mitigate the effects of Covid-19.

With effect from 7 April, the reserve ratio was reduced from 13% to 11.5% in local currency and from 36% to 34.5% in foreign currency.

On 29 April, the central bank introduced a requirement requiring exporters to exchange 30% of their forex proceeds into domestic currency.

On 30 March, the central bank announced measures to easy payment system transactions and liquidity conditions by: (i) lowering fees and charges for digital transactions through commercial banks, mobile banking and e-currency, for three months, and (ii) waiving specific provision on foreign currency loans, until 31 December. The central bank reduced the policy rate by 150 basis points to 11.25% on 16 April.

On 17 June, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Mozambique decided to reduce the monetary policy rate from 11.25% to 10.25%.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
15 April: Simplified licensing for the import of essential goods and total exemption from customs duties and miscellaneous taxes on imports of medicines and reagents, as well as, all the COVID-19 prevention material.

7 May: A committee with special powers to make resource allocation decisions has been created.

7 May: An exceptional public procurement regime has been announced for the purchase of urgent goods and services necessary to control and combat the pandemic.

31 August: The Ministry of the Economy and Finances in Mozambique published its Medium Term Fiscal for 2021-2023 in light of COVID-19. In it, while revenues are surprisingly expected to increase slightly (from 23% of GDP to 23.1% of GDP), expenditure has increased at a faster pace (from 32.2% to 33.9% of GDP). This has increased Mozambique's debt to GDP ratio to 113.7%. In order to reign this debt in, the Mozambican government is aiming to reign in public debt to only 101% of GDP by 2023.

29 September: Although the 2021 general budget is yet to be passed, a proposal document for the 2021 budget has been published by the government of Mozambique. While not specific, this document alludes to various reprioritisations based on decreased revenues and increased expenditures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
15 April: The Government is monitoring prices of essential goods for preventing price gouging and redirecting the industrial sector toward the production of goods necessary for the prevention and mitigation of the Covid-19 pandemic.

15 April: SADC Member States have established National Emergency Operations Centres to facilitate coordination of logistics and stockpiling for disasters at the national level. The SADC Pooled Procurement Services for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies is being implemented to provide sustainable availability and access to affordable and effective essential medicine and health commodities, and Member States have been encouraged to utilise this facility for the procurement of the needed supplies for prevention, treatment and control of COVID-19 and any other epidemics.

30 September: Mozambique has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

5 November: Mozambique has suspended import rariffs on oil and hygenic products
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
On 2 April, to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, the Council of Ministers approved by Decree 12/2020, a set of fiscal measures to safeguard human life, public health and the functioning of services, which will be in force during the State of Emergency.

On March 27, the government increased the budget allocation for the health sector, from about MT2 billion (roughly USD 28 million, or 0.2% of GDP) to about MT3.3 billion (0.3% of GDP or USD 46 million). Revenue measures to ease pressures on families and the health sector are being implemented.The overall fiscal deficit is expected to increase significantly in 2020 owing to lower revenues—resulting from lower activity and fiscal measures to support the private sector—and higher spending on health and social transfers to the poorest segments in society.

15 April: The health budget has been revised upwards from USD 30 million (0.2% of GDP) to USD 50 million (0.4% of GDP) this year.

25 August: According to the Situational COVID-19 report issued by the Ministry of the Economy and Finance, the government has allocated a total of USD 79.5 million to the health sector for the acquisition of PPE and ventilators to date. This translates to roughly 0.5% of GDP.

31 August: The Ministry of the Economy and Finances in Mozambique published its Medium-t erm Fiscal Fram+H37ework for 2021-2023 in light of COVID-19. In it, while revenues are surprisingly expected to increase slightly (from 23% of GDP to 23.1% of GDP), expenditure has increased at a faster pace (from 32.2% to 33.9% of GDP). This has increased Mozambique's debt to GDP ratio to 113.7%. In order to reign this debt in, the Mozambican government is aiming to reign in public debt to only 101% of GDP by 2023.

29 September: Although the 2021 general budget is yet to be passed, a proposal document for the 2021 budget has been published by the government of Mozambique. While not specific, this document alludes to the fact that taking out foreign debt will likely not be a solution to funding gaps created by COVID-19. Instead, reallocations/reprioritisations to areas like social assistance and protection, healthcare, education and sanitation/hygiene.
Transparency, accountability and participation
24 April: All acts relating to expenses in the context of combating Covid-19 will be publicly announced, to allow them to be scrutinised by Mozambican society and the international community. As part of its commitment to the IMF, the authorities will undertake independent audits of crisis-mitigation spending and related procurement processes once the pandemic abates and will publish the audited results. In the interim, they will publish the related large public procurement contracts and their beneficiaries.

28 June: Reports outlining all in-going and outgoing donations related to Covid-19 (both cash and in-kind) are gazetted to be published by the Ministry of Health in Mozambique.

2 August: In June, Mozambican authorities detained two journalists in Sofala province, central Mozambique, on Covid-19 related corruption charges, according to the Office for Combating Corruption (GCCC) in the province.

13 November: The government has published reports on the status of commitments to partners during the COVID-19 pandemic as a means to improve transparency. These reports detail expenditure breakdowns and disbursements received by various partners, and can be accessed at the following link:
https://www.mef.gov.mz/index.php/covid-19

Business support and tax measures
On 30 March, the President announced the need to adopt fiscal and monetary policy measures to support the private sector to address the economic impact of the pandemic.

30 March: Extension of the Decree on Exemption from Payment of Charges (Fines, Interest, tax enforcement) resulting from the delay in paying tax obligations until December 2020.

15 May: VAT exemptions for sugar, cooking oil and soap have now taken effect in order to alleviate pressures on consumers who have been impacted by Covid-19.

24 May: The National Institute of Social Security (INSS) will establish a MZN 600 million (USD 8.6 million or 0.05% of GDP) fund to alleviate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

1 June: Mozambique's Council of Ministry has approved various tax measures, relating to the waiver of advance income tax payments during the state of emergency and the deferral of special advance payments (minimum tax). Further, taxpayers may offset VAT input credits against any other tax debts.

25 August: The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Action has, to date, provided USD 15 million (0.1% of GDP) worth of preferential credit services to 200 SMEs as a means to ensure that these SMEs remain operational. The remaining amount earmarked to assist these SMEs over the next 6 months (until February 2021) is USD 160 million (1.1% of GDP)

29 September: Although the 2021 general budget is yet to be passed, a proposal document for the 2021 budget has been published by the government of Mozambique. While not specific, the document states that there will be a continuation of subsidies to businesses who have suffered production and revenue deficits in light of the pandemic.
Financing social assistance and food relief
26 May: The government of Mozambique has requested food security support for 1 million vulnerable households to the effect of USD 20 million given the country's decreased food security due to Covid-19.

29 May: The EU, together with UNICEF, delivered 11 tons of medical supplies to Mozambique. These supplies include 145 000 masks, 30 000 medical overalls, 192 no-contact thermometers, and 600 pairs of goggles.

29 September: Although the 2021 general budget is yet to be passed, a proposal document for the 2021 budget has been published by the government of Mozambique. While not specific, the document states that a wider social assistance net will be cast to assist those most affected by the pandemic.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
National Government Website
_
National COVID response website
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
Further Africa News
_
Club of Mozambique News
_
IMF Country Report

The Presidency of Mozambique

Xinhua News Website

Relief Web

Namibia

Tests p/million
142
Confirmed cases
39182 Source
Confirmed deaths
430 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
On 1 April, the government launched the 8 billion Namibian Dollar Economic Stimulus and Relief Package to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 (USD 425 million or 4.25 % of GDP).
Official COVID-19 links
http://www.mhss.gov.na/corona

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
600
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
14%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
7,72%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
14%

Domestic and external financing
25 April: The EU has donated 8.4 million Euros (approximately 0.06% of GDP) to Namibia as a means to assist with it's (Namibia's) response to Covid-19.

8 May: The UN country team in Namibia has re-programmed USD 3.725 million (0.03% of GDP) to minimise the impact of Covid-19 on public health and socio-economic wellbeing in Namibia.


29 July: Namibia has approached the International Monetary Fund for a 4.5 billion Namibian dollar (USD 273 million or 2% of GDP) emergency loan to help the government battle the Covid-19 pandemic.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
The central bank reduced the policy rate by 100 basis points to 5.25 % on March 20.

On 26 March, the Bank of Namibia (BoN) introduced regulatory and policy relief measures to directly support individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporations to manage the impact of the drought and the COVID-19 pandemic on business cash flows and continuity; as well as safeguard jobs. These include 6-24 months discretionary loan payment moratorium; relaxing of the Determination on Liquidity Risk Management on cash inflows and outflows for lenders; and reduction of the Capital Conservation buffers to 0% for 24 months to enable the financial sector to expand supply of credit to the economy.

On 15 April, the central bank reduced the policy rate by 100 basis points to 4.25%.

On 17 June, the central bank reduced the policy rate by 25 basis points to 4 % on (2.25% in total since the state of emergency was declared).

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
On 28 April, the president of Namibia suspended more than 20 provisions across various employment, criminal and price control acts due to the Covid-19 epidemic as a means to ease the transition through the economic impact related to the virus in the country. A full list of these changes can be found at https://www.tralac.org/documents/resources/covid-19/countries/3550-namibia-proclamation-state-of-emergency-covid-19-suspension-of-operation-of-provisions-of-certain-laws-and-ancillary-matters-regulations-28-april-2020/file.html.

On 27 May, the Namibian budget statement, as well as updates to the Namibian Appropropriation Bill and Expenditure Framework were tabled. In these documents, officials outlined the changes needed and being made by the fiscus in order to mitigate some of the economic impact of Covid-19 on the Namibian economy. A more detailed discussion of these documents can be found at https://mof.gov.na/budget.

8 July: The earlier released budget proposes an increase in the rate of excise tax on alcohol and tobacco products (so-called “sin taxes”). The establishment of the Namibia Revenue Authority is a key administrative proposal for 2020-2021. Other proposals from previous budgets are still under review and pending consultations, and include proposals for; (i) Introduction of a 10% dividend tax for residents; (ii) Repeal of the conduit principle that would result in the taxation of trusts; (iii) Imposing “normal” corporate income tax on income derived from commercial activities of charitable, religious, educational and other types of institutions; (iv) Introduction of value added tax (VAT) on the income of “listed asset” managers; (v) Removing zero-rating VAT with respect to sugar; (vi) Mandatory requirement for vendors to issue tax invoices for VAT purposes; (vii) Phase out of tax incentives for manufacturers and exporters of manufactured goods; (viii) Repeal the provisions of the export processing zone rules; (ix) Introduction of a “special economic zones” regime. The proposal to disallow the tax deductibility of royalties for mining entities was withdrawn.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
15 April: SADC Member States have established National Emergency Operations Centres to facilitate coordination of logistics and stockpiling for disasters at the national level. The SADC Pooled Procurement Services for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies is being implemented to provide sustainable availability and access to affordable and effective essential medicine and health commodities, and Member States have been encouraged to utilise this facility for the procurement of the needed supplies for prevention, treatment and control of COVID-19 and any other epidemics.

30 September: Namibia has submitted non-binding confirmations of intent to participate in the COVAX Facility, a Gavi-coordinated pooled procurement mechanism for new COVID-19 vaccines. Namibia would be able to use the mechanism to buy and procure COVID-19 vaccines at the cheaper prices Gavi has negotiated — but the country would have to allow COVAX to procure and buy the vaccines on its behalf.

5 November: Face masks and hand sanitisers will now require an export permit in order to be exported from Namibia. This is to disincentivise the exporting of goods necessary for the Namibian fight against COVID-19.

30 November: Namibia has approved an upfront payment of NAD 26.4 million (USD 1.7 million) to the COVAX global COVID-19 vaccine distribution scheme, which will give it access to COVID-19 vaccines for 20% of its population. The government also signed a Financial Commitment Agreement
on 5th November 2020 for the remaining USD 9 096 780. Apart from the COVAX Facility, there have been engagements with Pfizer on a bilateral basis, China, Russia, and other countries that are making great progress in the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines for possible bilateral deals and or
donations. Additional resources need to be secured for acquisition of additional doses to vaccinate at least up to 60% of the population. The government has called upon the medical aid industry to support beneficiaries of their medical aid scheme to access the vaccine. In the same vein, the government will be engaging Cooperate Namibia for support.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
On 1 April, the government launched the Economic Stimulus and Relief Package to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 (8 billion Namibian Dollars, or USD 425 million (4.25 % of GDP)), including i) expenditure measures of 2.2 bn (USD 123 million) for health, wage subsidies, and income grants; and ii) guarantees of up to 2.3 bn (USD 128 million) to support low interest loans for small and agricultural businesses, and individuals. The government called off the Independence Celebrations and reallocated the corresponding financial outlay to the fight against COVID-19.

27 May: An emergency budget reallocation frontloaded a further 727 million Namibian Dollars (USD 49 million or 0.3% of GDP) specifically into the healthcare sector in Namibia. This is in conjunction with an emergency budget which was made available to the Ministry of Basic Education, Arts and Culture of 600 million Namibian Dollars (USD 40 million or 0.26% of GDP). This was against a backdrop of a 14.3 percent decrease in expected revenue collection from 59.7 billion Namibian Dollars in the MTEF target document to 51.4 billion Namibian Dollars (from USD 4 billion to USD 3.4 billion or from 28 to 23% of GDP).
Transparency, accountability and participation
On May 27, the 2020/20201-2022/2023 Fiscal Strategy, the Development Budget for FY 2020/21, and the Government Accountability Report 2018/19 were presented along with the updated 2020/2021 budget. These documents outline various avenues through which the Namibian government will report throughout (and after) the Covid-19 financial crisis.

2 August: In April 2020 the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development identified SMEs across the country to make masks on behalf of the government of Namibia. However, Market Namibia Tender Bulletin later reported that the ministry did not issue a public tender for the procurement of suitable materials for mask production. No information was available on where the ministry had got the material that was distributed to mask makers, but it was reported that the material was valued at N$40,000 (USD 2,400). According to the Procurement Tracker Namibia, the masks were to be provided for between N$15 (USD 0.91) – N$25 (USD 1.51), but the price had been increased drastically by some of the state-sponsored mask manufacturers, resulting in a public uproar. Mask makers, however, claimed that the material provided by the government was not of a good quality and that they had to buy better fabric, which pushed up the price of masks.

Business support and tax measures
30 April: Fast-tracked payment of overdue and undisputed invoices for goods and services provided to GRN to inject about N$800 million to businesses.

30 April: A 500 million Namibian Dollar (USD 29 million, or 0.2% of GDP) non-agricultural small business loan scheme to be disbursed through the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) and a 200 million Namibian Dollar (USD 12 million or 0.09% of GDP) agricultural business loan scheme to be disbursed by the Agricultural Bank of Namibia.

30 April: Tax-back loan scheme for non-mining corporates capped at 470 million Namibian Dollars (USD 27 million, or 0.19% of GDP) and a tax-back loan scheme for individuals that are tax registered and paying (PAYE) guaranteed by the government to the tune of 1.1 billion Namibian Dollars (USD 63.8 million, or 0.44% of GDP)

7 May: Tax-back loan scheme for tax registered and tax paying (PAYE) employees and self-employed individual persons who have lost income or part thereof.

7 May: Taxpayers can borrow an amount equal to 1/12th of their tax payment in the previous tax year, to be repaid after one year. The interest rate will be favorably low at the prime lending rate less 1% on the back of a Government guarantee.

9 September: The Bank of Namibia announced it will participate in the operationalization of the loan guarantee program, providing 50 million Namibian dollars (USD 3 million or 2.25% of GDP) in capital targeted to SME credit.

1 November: 95% of interest balances on taxes will be eradicated for all taxpayers during the pandemic up until February 21. The government also announced that all penalties for taxpayers who settle capital amounts by February 1 2021 will be reversed. Thereafter, and for the next 12 months, 75% of interest balances on tax will be eradicated in order to improve taxpayers financial positions during the pandemic.
Financing social assistance and food relief
On 1 April, the Minister of Finance announced a new grant for people who were struggling as a result of the pandemic. Just over one week later – on Thursday 9 April – he announced details of the once-off Emergency Income Grant of N$750, to be paid to people aged 18-59 who had lost informal livelihoods or were already unemployed. People who had been formally employed but had lost their jobs would be supported through a separate scheme, through Namibia’s Social Security Commission. Applicants for Namibia’s Emergency Income Grant could registered by sending an SMS to a toll-free number and following a set of clear and simple instructions. Applicants did not need to use their own phones but they did need to use a Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) phone. Payment will be made within 7 days utilising the banking sector’s ATM infrastructure. The total amount for this measure is costed at a maximum of N$562.00 million.

15 May: Government will ensure that water points are kept open without a need for water cards during lockdowns, through NamWater and Local Authorities that will subsidize this critical service.

27 May: the National Employment and Salary Protection Scheme for Covid-19 was launched in collaboration with the Namibian Social Security Commission. Wage subsidies to the effect of 645 million Namibian Dollars (USD 43.3 million) have been committed to this scheme and are aimed at preserving the earning power of those most vulnerable in the labour market.

On 15 June, the government announced it will extend the deadline of submitting Individual Income Tax returns from end-June to end-September (not the payment of taxes due, which is still end-June).

29 June: Relaxation of labour regulations has been utilised to ensure the protection of jobs. Employers will be allowed to negotiate temporary decreases in salaries by 20% and 40% decreases for sectors that are worst-hit.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
Ugo Gentilini
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
Southern Times Africa

Ministry of Finance Namibia

IOL News Website

TRALAC Official Website

Niger

Tests p/million
183
Confirmed cases
4740 Source
Confirmed deaths
172 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
A plan has been presented to donors with an estimated cost of USD 600 million (7.4% of GDP), divided into an immediate health response and broader economic and social mitigation.

May 7: This crisis plan was revised, and it is now expected to cost USD 1.5 billion (18.4% of GDP).

14 April: The cost of the riposte plan is estimated at CFAF 597 billion (USD 999 million or 7.6% of GDP). To be fully implemented, the plan requires significant amount of grants and concessional financial support from the international community as it will entail losses of domestic revenue and increases in public expenditure in favor of health and social programs.
Official COVID-19 links

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
15
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
5,69%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
59%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
5,69%

Domestic and external financing
On 14 April, SDR 83.66 million (USD 114.9 million or 1.2% of GDP) was provided by the IMF through its Rapid Credit Facility.

Niger is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon on debt servicing through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. Debt relief of USD 7.72 million (0.08% of GDP) has been provided.

On 15 April, the World Bank approved USD 13.95 million to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness in Niger. The IMF provided emergency funding of USD 114.5 million (or 0.15% of GDP) in addition to relief from its debt service.

28 April: The European Union has announced additional support to Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, of 194 million Euros. This comes after the EU pledged to mobilise 449 million Euros earlier on in April for the same 5 countries

18 May: The EU has granted Niger 31 million Euros (approximately 0.4% of GDP) as a means to assist against the economic impact of Covid-19 on the country.

10 May: UNICEF has begun the process of providing Niger with USD 17.4 million (0.2% of GDP) in an attempt to assist Niger in its Covid-19 response.

9 June: The African Development Bank has approved grant funding of USD 20 million in response to the economic impact of Covid-19 for Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.

On 10 June: The UNHCR, in preparation of the revised COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan to be executed in the next 9 months, has earmarked USD 7.4 million (or 0.08% of GDP) for Niger.

29 June: The Niger government received a USD 25 000 grant from South Korea in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

22 July: The African Development Bank Board approved a grant of USD 53.7 million and loan of USD 55.1 (between 0.4 and 0.5% of GDP) million to help Niger mitigate impacts of COVID-19.

On 3 August, the World Bank approved USD 100 million (0.9% of GDP) to assist Niger in governance

On 6 August, the World Bank approved a USD 250 million budget support package for Niger (approximately 2.3% of GDP), with a strong focus on Niger's COVID-19 response and recovery plan.

8 September: Niger is participating in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space that may be created by the DSSI is USD 25.8 million or 0.2% of GDP. On 10 November, this debt relief amount increased slightly to USD 26 million (still 0.2% of GDP).

2 October: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon to Niger on debt servicing through the second tranche of Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust for USD 7.95 million (or 0.06% of GDP).

30 October: The African Development Bank Board approved a loan of USD 35 million (0.3% of GDP) to help mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 in rural areas in Niger..
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
March 21: The Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) announced the following measures: i) providing XOF 340 billion (USD 589 million) of additional liquidity made available to the banks by weekly and monthly auctions up to XOF 4 750 billion (USD 8.2 billion) ; ii) extending the collateral framework to access the BCEAO's refinancing to include XOF 1,050 billion (USD 1.8 billion) of bank debt of prequalified 1,700 private companies; iii) setting-up of a framework with the banking system to support firms with repayment difficulties.

March 25: Further measures include: i) allocation of XOF 25 billion to the trust fund of the West African Development Bank (BOAD), in order to increase the amount of confessional loans to eligible countries to finance urgent investment and equipment expenses; ii) communicating of the special program for refinancing bank credits granted to SMEs; iii) initiating negotiations with firms issuing electronic money to encourage its usage; iv) ensuring adequate provision of banknotes for satisfactory ATM operations.

To promote the use of electronic payment tools the Western Africa Central Bank (BCEAO) is providing more flexible measures to open a mobile money and making transfers between people backed by electronic money free.

7 May: As of April 30, the BCEAO launched a special 3-month refinancing window at a fixed rate of 2.5 % for limited amounts of 3-month "Covid-19 T-Bills" to be issued by each WAEMU sovereign to help meet funding needs related to the current pandemic.

On 22 June, the BCEAO announced that it had decreased the tender operations rate from 2.5% to 2%, and that the interest rate on marginal loan windows was reduced to 4% from 4.5%.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
15 April: Establishment of removal credit facilities for any importer who wishes for a period of 15 to 90 days, subject to production of a bank guarantee.

On April 27, Heads of states of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) declared a temporary suspension of the WAEMU Growth and Stability Pact setting six convergence criteria, including the 3 % of GDP fiscal deficit rule, to help member-countries cope with the fallout of COVID-19. This temporary suspension will allow member-countries to raise their overall fiscal deficit temporarily and use the additional external support provided by donors in response to COVID-19. The Heads of States’ Declaration sets a clear expectation that fiscal consolidation will resume once the crisis is over.

7 May: A committee with special powers to make resource allocation decisions has been created.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 September: Mozambique has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

30 September: The authorities have started price controls for essential goods (foods and medicines) for a period of 3 months

5 November: The government of Niger has made all goods necessary for the combat of COVID-19 customs free, reducing tariffs on various PPE to 0%.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
end-April: To fund the emergency response plan, 1 billion CFA (USD 1.6 million) from the national budget will be provided.

On 8 May, the cabinet approved a supplementary budget with 1.3 % of GDP in resources re-allocated to additional spending toward health, security and social assistance.

14 April: The fiscal deficit has been revised to 5% of GDP, compared to 2.7% of GDP previously projected.
Transparency, accountability and participation
14 April: When requesting assistance from the IMF, the government committed to refrain from crisis measures that would permanently damage the revenue base, maintain fiscal transparency by enshrining fiscal crisis measures in a supplementary budget, and centralise the costing and the keeping count of crisis measures at the Ministry of Finance.

Business support and tax measures
15 April: Exemption from VAT for the entire duration of lockdown for interurban land transport.
Postponement of the payment of the second installment tax for the transport sector to May 1, 2020 instead of March 1.
Application of a reduced rate of 10% in terms of VAT in the hotel sector.
Suspension of proceedings for the recovery of taxes and duties for three (3) months, ie until June 30, 2020 for travel agencies.
Suspension of collection of taxes for two (2) months from April 1, 2020 for bars and drinking places and sport and leisure sectors.
Application of a depreciation rate for buildings of 5% instead of 2% to take into account the importance of the capital invested in the hotel sector.
Exemption from duties and taxes on all taxed products which fall within the scope of the fight against the coronavirus.

7 May: Tax relief is being discussed with respect to businesses in the worst-impacted sectors within the economy of Niger.

29 June: The Finance Ministry also announced credit support to the private sector in the form of loan guarantees. The revised cost includes large-scale support for agricultural production, revenue shortfalls, and the building of liquidity buffers.
Financing social assistance and food relief
15 April: Two months of free utilities for vulnerable households and distribution of food from the strategic reserve will be provided. Reinforcement of the annual support plan to support vulnerable people (free distribution of food for the most deprived, sale at moderate price, etc.).

Since 23 April 2020, price controls for essential goods have been implemented for the period of Ramadan.

May 7: The state has provided 2 months of free utilities to vulnerable households

29 May: In order to assist in the health services effort, the government of Niger is funding the training of an additional 2 700 healthcare workers to ease the pressure on the healthcare sector currently.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
_
African Health Stats
_
ILO
_
Finance Ministry-Niger
_
John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
_
World Bank
_
Ecofin Agency Website
_
The European Commission

IMF Country Report

Relief Web

Nigeria

Tests p/million
24
Confirmed cases
156496 Source
Confirmed deaths
1923 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
In March, it was estimated that to procure all needed equipment, material and infrastructure over N 120 billion (USD 308 million) would need to be raised.

By 6 April, approval had been given to create a USD 1.39 billion (roughly 0.35% of GDP) Coronavirus Crisis Intervention Fund to strengthen healthcare infrastructure.
Official COVID-19 links
https://covid19.ncdc.gov.ng/

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
28
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
5,01%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
75%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
5,01%

Domestic and external financing
In March, The Central Bank of Nigeria announced an intervention fund of N1.1 trillion (USD 2.5 billion or 0.6% of GDP). N1.0 trillion (USD 2.5 billion or roughly 0.55% of GDP) will be used to support local manufacturing to boost import substitution, while N100 billion (USD 250 million or 0.06% of GDP) will be used to support the health services sector and products. In addition, N900 billion (USD 2.3 billion- approximately 0.5% of GDP) will be made available to pharmaceutical companies through loan interventions to re-establish drug manufacturing firms. It is expected that through these interventions, about N3.5 trillion would be injected as stimulus to support the Nigerian economy during this trying time.

In April, Nigeria’s Central Bank launched a drive to raise N120 billion (USD 3 billion, or 0.8% of GDP) from the private sector to source equipment and infrastructure to fight the pandemic. As of 8 May, N28 billion (USD 72 million- approximately 0.02% of GDP) had been received under the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) Fund, domiciled at the CBN and the five COVID-19 donors in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) sub-accounts.

In April, Nigeria asked for USD 2.5 billion (roughly 0.55% of GDP) from the World Bank and USD 1 billion (a further 0.2% of GDP) from the African Development Bank.

As of 16 April, a USD 50 million (0.01% of GDP) grant had been approved by the European Union.

As of 28 April, the IMF has allocated a loan to Nigeria of USD 3.4 billion (0.9% of GDP).

29 May: An EU-IOM partnership seeks to mobilise just over 1 million Euros to alleviate the impact of Covid-19 on migrants/refugees in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, and Senegal.

24 June: Contingency funds of N984 million (USD2.7 million, less than 0.01% of GDP) have been released to Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control, and an additional N6.5 billion (USD 18 million; also less than 0.01% of GDP) was distributed for purchasing more testing kits, opening isolation centers and training medical personnel. Grant of N10 billion (USD28 million or 0.01% of GDP) was released to the Lagos State to increase its capacity to contain the outbreak.

25 June: The Nigeria Solidarity and Support Fund was established, looking to raise USD 50 million to support physical infrastructure of healthcare centers in Local Governments and existing Social Investment Program.

7 August: The World Bank Board of Directors approved a USD 114.28 million (or 0,0% of GDP) financing to help Nigeria prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 with a specific focus on state level responses. This includes USD 100 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) and USD 14.28 million (or 0,0% of GDP) grant from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility.

9 September: The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on Friday approved a USD 288.5 million (or 0.0% of GDP) loan to help Nigeria tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impact on people and businesses.

9 September: The Federal Government adopted a revised budget for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 shock

10 November: The World Bank announced that Nigeria was eligible for USD 123.5 million (less than 0.01% of GDP) worth of debt relief (although this debt relief would not be under the DSSI and would not be covered under the joint Bank-Fund Debt Sustainability Framework for Low Income Countries). This has yet to be taken up by Nigeria, but is available.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) maintained its monetary policy rate in March but introduced measures, including:
(i) reducing interest rates on all CBN interventions from 9 to 5% and introducing a one-year moratorium on CBN intervention facilities;
(ii) creating a USD 139 million targeted credit facility; and
(iii) liquidity injection of 2.4% of GDP into the banking system to support the health and manufacturing sectors.
Regulatory forbearance was also introduced to restructure loans in impacted sectors.

21 May: The Monetary Policy Committee of Nigeria has rescheduled its original meeting until 28 May, where it will decide on further monetary policy responses to the economic impact of Covid-19.

On 29 May, The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cut monetary policy rate to 12.5%. The CBN is also coordinating a private sector special intervention initiative targeting N120 billion (USD 333 million or 0.08% of GDP) to fight COVID-19.

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
31 March: An Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC) has been established, chaired by the Vice President to come up with a plan to turn the current challenges from COVID-19 pandemic to real opportunities for Nigerians by setting the economy on a solid footing.

On 5 May, The Minister of Finance was told to promptly liaise with the lawmakers to pass a supplementary budget for the utilisation of the funds based on estimated total collection for the year and it must detail the needs submitted by the affected line ministries together with estimated costs. Funds are to be appropriated directly to line ministries and spending units rather than to an intermediary. It is mandated that all collections into the commercial bank accounts should be swept into FGN Sub-Recurrent Account with the CBN. Only the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) is permitted to be used in making payment to necessary agencies in accordance with the laws, rules, and regulations, including those relating to the Public Procurement Act (subject to the guidance of the Bureau for Public Procurement).

7 May, the Accountant-General of the Federation had issued eight guidelines needed for the management of the COVID-19 Funds in Nigeria.

11 June: The existing budget reflects reallocations of budgetary appropriations requiring parliamentary approval as an expenditure measures used to finance COVID-19 related expenses. The government has also amended their PFM rules and processes to ensure rapid delivery of COVID-19 related goods and services through the creation of a special COVID-19 budget line. Borrowing programmes have been adjusted in order to bridge pandemic related financing needs and ensure increased cash management efficiency, and liquidity.

11 June: Two committees have been formed in order to increase coordination between finance ministries/ budget offices and other relevant line ministries at subnational and central government levels: (i) a Crisis Management Committee, headed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; (ii) an Economic Sustainability Committee.

11 June: The Ministry of Finance, following containment policies, has ensured business continuity through the use of virtual networks, submission of invoices by email, and streamlined security checks.

25 June: The Economic Sustainability Committee set up by President completed a response plan that recommends directing oil companies and oil service companies to sell foreign exchange to the CBN rather than the state oil corporation (NNPC) to improve foreign exchange supply.

30 June: the new budget deficit represents 3.55% of the GDP, which contravenes the Nigerian Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) (2007). The FRA, enacted to ensure prudent fiscal management and long-term macro-economic stability, stipulates that the budget deficit should not exceed 3% of the GDP, except in the cases of threats to national sovereignty and security.

On 8 October, the Nigerian Budget Office of the Federation tabled and presented the 2021 Appropriation Bill and the 2021 Budget Speech.

30 November: in collaboration with the United Nations in Nigeria (UNAIDS and UNDP), the FGoN launched a COVID-19 Basket Fund. The Basket Fund is to serve as the single COVID-19 financing and investment platform for international donors to channel their financial support to Nigeria in order to ensure that their support is used efficiently, effectively and impactfully.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
16 April: Import duty waivers for medicine and medical goods and pharmaceutical firms will be introduced.

11 June: As an efficiency and cost-effectiveness measure introduced into the healthcare financing and purchasing process, insurance for frontline healthcare workers has been provided.

30 September: Nigeria has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.

30 September: Nigeria covers all COVID-19-related health services, including food and accommodation, through the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

5 November: Nigeria has banned the import of certain food items due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is likely to spur production and consumption of domestic food items.

18 January: Nigeria has written to express interest in 10 million doses of the viral vector vaccine from the AU. The ministry of finance had released 10 billion naira (USD 26.27 million) to support domestic vaccine output as Nigeria was exploring options of “licensed production in collaboration with recognised institutions”. Last week the finance minister said the government was working on the type and quantity of COVID-19 vaccines to procure and would make financial provision for them.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
On 27 March, the Federal Government released a grant of USD 26 million to Lagos State to increase its capacity to respond to COVID-19 outbreak.By 6 April, the government had provided 102.5 billion naira (USD 285 million) to support the healthcare sector. USD 21 million of this was from contingency funds released to Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control to equip, expand and provide personnel to its facilities and laboratories across the country.

By 24 April, announced plans to cut/delay non-essential capital spending by USD 4.4 billion (1 % of GDP).

On 7 April, The House of Representatives, an arm of Nigeria’s National Assembly, passed the Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill to boost Nigerian economy given the debilitating effect of COVID-19.

16 April: A N500bn COVID-19 crisis intervention Fund has been set up on budget to cover costs of much needed health equipment and medicine, as well as shore up the economy through public works programs.

By 23 April, it was decided in view of the current challenges facing the Federation, and highly uncertain revenue profile in the immediate future, to distribute N661.427 billion (USD 1.7 billion) only and save N119.550 billion (USD 306 million) in the Excess Oil Revenue Account.

25 June: The government is reviewing its 2020 budget and, given the expected large fall in oil revenues, announced plans to cut/delay non-essential capital spending by N1.5 trillion (close to 1 % of GDP).

9 September: The Federal Government adopted a revised budget for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 shock. The previously mentioned COVID-19 intervention fund is included in the revised budget, where this fund will facilitate the allocation of resources to additional health-related current and capital spending (tests, supplies and facilities) and public works programs to support the incomes of the vulnerable. The coverage of the conditional cash transfer program has been broadened and an allocation of N150 billion (USD 392 million or 0.0% of GDP) to support state and local governments’ spending needs has been made available through the budget.

On 8 October, the Budget of Economic Recovery and Resilence was passed. The budget detailed the following:
- That revenue available in light of the COVID-19 pandemic would be roughly N7.886 trillion (USD 20.7 billion, or 4.6% of GDP). In contrast, expenditure was expected to rise to N13.08 trillion (USD 34.3 billion, or 7.7% of GDP).
- That N1 trillion (USD 2.63 billion, or 0.6% of GDP) will be allocated to business safety nets for large agriculture and manufacturing businesses
- That N100 billion (USD 263 million, or 0.06% of GDP) will be allocated to the healthcare and pharmaceutical indystry
- That an additional N100 billion (again, USD 263 million or 0.06% of GDP) will be allocated to households and small businesses)
Transparency, accountability and participation
5 May: The National Assembly asked that funds not be disbursed until after appropriation.

13 May: The Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation must publicise daily, all inflows and outflows for the funds, and the statement must show the source of the outflow. All line ministries were also urged to publish detailed reports of their activities relating to COVID-19 Funds on their websites at the end of every week, while a Monthly Budget Performance Report shall be published on the Open Treasury Portal not later than 14 days following the end of the month. The last condition is that two weeks after the end of the pandemic, a comprehensive report of all receipts and payments shall be published on the OAGF Transparency Portal as well as other government websites, including those of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and Secretary to the Government of the Federation and OAGF.

21 May: Together with the IMF, the authorities have committed to: (i) strengthening the role of the Federal Audit Board in combating corruption and the asset-declaration framework; (ii) fully implementing the risk-based approach to AML/CFT supervision while ensuring the transparency of beneficial ownership of legal persons; (iii) creating specific budget lines to facilitate the tracking and reporting of emergency response expenditures and report funds released and expenditures incurred monthly on the transparency portal (http://opentreasury.gov.ng/); (iv) publishing procurement plans, procurement notices for all emergency response activities—including the name of awarded companies and of beneficial owners—on the Bureau of Public procurement website; and (v) publishing no later than three to six months after the end of the fiscal year the report of an independent audit into the emergency response expenditures and related procurement process, which will be conducted by the Auditor General of the Federation.

5 June: CSOs have been asked to help provide information to citizens about support policies and how to monitor them.

11 June: To ensure increased transparency and accountability with regards to COVID-19 financing and expenditure the following measures have been implemented; (i) all COVID-19 contracts are published; (ii) Internal audits are being conducted more frequently; and (iii) A supervisory committee for COVID-19 funding has been established.

6 August: Nigeria has built a portal to facilitate transparent procurement. NOCOPO (Nigeria Open Contracting Portal), which is still in its infancy, has a specific Covid-19 procurement page where all pandemic-related contracts are listed. This has allowed journalists and citizens to analyse the details of such contracts and improve public knowledge and awareness of the government’s response to the pandemic. NOCOPO was created through partnerships with Nigerian civil society.

Business support and tax measures
16 April: A temporary fiscal support package—not yet fully costed—is expected to provide relief for taxpayers and incentivize employers to retain and recruit staff during the downturn, through measures such as income tax relief equal to a 50% rebate on payroll tax for their employees.

16 April: Electricity tariff increases – planned for April 2020 – have been postponed to July. In line with lower international oil prices, regulated fuel prices have been reduced, fuel subsidies eliminated, and an automatic fuel pricing formula has been put in place to ensure fuel subsidies do not reemerge.

25 June: A fiscal stimulus package, in the form of a COVID-19 intervention fund of N500 billion (USD1.4 billion, or 0.35% of GDP), has been approved by the President to support healthcare facilities, provide relief for taxpayers and incentivize employers to retain and recruit staff during the downturn. Import duty waivers for pharmaceutical firms will be introduced.

30 June: The Government granted a three-month moratorium on government intervention loans. There are about 2m of these small scale government intervention loans which provide petty traders, farmers and small businesses with access to capital.

9 September: The authorities have also unveiled a N2.3 trillion (USD 6 billion or 2% of GDP) stimulus package which focuses on job-intensive projects including in agricultural, road, and housing sectors—a bulk of which is to be financed from CBN-supported credit facilities and from sovereign wealth and other savings funds.

On 8 October, the Nigerian Budget Office of the Federation proposed that N1 trillion (USD 2.63 billion or 0.6% of GDP) would be allocated to assisting large agriculture and manufacturing businesses in 2021 to assist them in their recovery. The budget office also allocated an undisclosed proportion of N100 billion (0.06% of GDP or USD 263 million) to assisting SMMEs in their business recovery during 2021.

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Financing social assistance and food relief
End-March: A 3-month moratorium on mobile money.

End-April: Commenced cash transfers to poorest households to cushion effect of the pandemic. Conditional cash transfers for two months have been made available and displaced people will receive two months of food rations. Beneficiaries are those whose bank account balance is less than N5,000 and who recharge their phones with not more than N100.

End-April: Relief material is being provided to communities around Abuja and school feeding schemes will be sustained. 70,000 Metric Tonnes of Grains from Nigeria’s National Strategic Grain Reserves, for distribution to poor and vulnerable persons in frontline COVID19 States, as well as persons whose livelihoods will be affected by the lockdown.

End-April: The CBN created a N50 billion fun+K39d to support households and SMEs affected by COVID-19; introduced credit support for the healthcare sector.

End-April: The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) has aligned with the federal government to provide a two-month period of free electricity supply to all customers nationwide.

14 May: The Covid-Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund aims to crowd-fund USD 50 million (roughly 0.02% of GDP) in an effort to support Covid-19 relief efforts in Nigeria.

25 June: Regulated fuel prices have been reduced, and an automatic fuel price formula introduced to ensure fuel subsidies are eliminated. The President also ordered an increase of the social register by 1 million households to 3.6 million to help cushion the effect of the lockdown

30 June: With the growing incidence of the virus and the social distancing measures put in place, the government has added an additional one million households to the cash transfer scheme and beneficiaries will now receive a ₦20,000 ($52) payout. This represents an advance payment, rather than an increase in the monthly stipend.

On 8 October, the Nigerian Budget Office of the Federation allocated an undisclosed proportion of N100 billion (0.06% of GDP or USD 263 million) to households in the form of social assistance and wage subsidies.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
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African Health Stats
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IMF Lending Tracker
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Public Debt Net
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Finance Ministry- Nigeria
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Ventures Africa
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John Hopkins University- Coronavirus
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Africa News
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ENS Africa
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Central Bank of Nigeria
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IMF Country Report

CNBC Africa Website

PWC Nigeria

The Africa Report News Website

Global Citizens Website

Republic of the Congo

Tests p/million
Confirmed cases
8820 Source
Confirmed deaths
128 Source
COVID-19: expected financing requirement
15 April: The overall cost of the response plan to the COVID-19 epidemic has been estimated at 100 billion XAF (USD 135 million) (1.6% of GDP) to (i) strengthen early detection and surveillance and foster technical and operational coordination within the government; (ii) improve the quality of medical care to infected patients; and (iii) develop effective preventive communication strategies and enhance medical logistic platforms.


20 May: The overall cost of the response plan to the COVID 19 epidemic has been estimated at USD 170 million (100 billion XAF), equivalent to 1.6% of 2020 GDP, to date the government has made available to the Ministry of Health the amount of USD 1.4 million. The EU, WFP, France are getting together to provide support for the poorest segments of the population with combined support amounting to about 3 billion XAF as of now.
Official COVID-19 links
As of 7 April, government websites had not been updated to include COVID-19 responses

Government health expenditure p/capita (PPP USD) (2017)
111
Government health expenditure of government expenditure (2017)
3,92%
Out-of-pocket expenditure of total health expenditure (2017)
50%
External health expenditure of health expenditure (2017)
3,92%

Domestic and external financing
The EU, WFP, France are getting together to provide support for the poorest segments of the population with combined support amounting to about 3 billion XAF (USD 5 million, or 0.04% of GDP) as of now.

On 23 April, the World Bank approved USD 11.3 million (roughly 0.1% of GDP) in financing from the International Development Association (IDA) to help the Republic of the Congo fight COVID-19 (coronavirus) and respond to public health emergencies.

Congo is included in the list of 25 nations to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has offered a pardon on debt servicing through the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust.

10 April: The European Union will support the Congolese government's response plan against the coronavirus, with approximately CFAF 2.3 billion (USD 1.7 million, or approximately 0.01% of GDP).

On 24 June, the World Bank approved USD 50 million (roughly 0.15% of GDP) of emergency COVID-19 response funding for the Congo.

30 August: UN agencies provided roughly USD 8 million (0.02% of GDP) in funding to support Congo's COVID-19 response efforts.

8 September: Congo is participating in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). The fiscal space that may be created by the DSSI is USD 146.2 million or 0.4% of GDP. On November 10, the amount of debt suspension was amended upwards to 1.4% of GDP or USD 182 million.
Monetary and macrofinancial measures
On March 27, 2020, BEAC announced a set of monetary easing measures including a decrease of the policy rate by 25 bps to 3.25 %, a decrease of the Marginal Lending Facility rate by 100 bps to 5 %, a suspension of absorption operations, an increase of liquidity provision from FCFA 240 to 500 billion (USD 395 to 823 million) , and a widening of the range of private instruments accepted as collateral in monetary operations. The MPC also supported BEAC’s management’s intent to propose to reduce haircuts applicable to private instruments accepted as collateral for refinancing operations, and to postpone by one-year principal repayment of consolidated central bank’s credits to member states, but these possible additional measures are not effective yet. On March 25, 2020, the COBAC informed banks that they can use their capital conservation buffers of 2.5% to absorb pandemic-related losses but requested banks to adopt a restrictive policy with regard to dividend distribution. Discussions are taking place at the country level on whether private companies can have access to the 100 billion XAF fund set up by the President and on simplifying access to refinancing instruments. A guarantee scheme has been set up to help private companies service their banking debts, but no details have been provided on the amounts or conditions.

On 24 June, CEMAC decided on the interest rate for tenders (3.25%), the marginal loan facility rate (5%), and the reserve rates (7% on compulsory reserves, and 4.5% on short-term requirements).

PFM procedural and legislative adjustments
30 August: A special COVID-19 fund has been set up to finance the COVID-19 health response. A special solidarity fund has also been set up to support enterprises affected by COVID-19.
Financing and provision of vaccine and essentials
30 September: Congo has been approved by the Gavi Board to access vaccines through the COVAX Advanced Market Committment, which will also cover at least part of the cost.
Budget adjustments and healthcare allocations
At 27 March, the government has made USD 1.4 million available to the Ministry of Health.

23 April: The government of Congo has adopted an amended finance bill of CFA 1083 billion (USD 1.8 Billion) against CFA 2175 billion (USD 3.6 billion) for the initial finance law. The decline in the national budget is correlative to that of fiscal revenues which fell by 58.9%, from CFA864 to CFA 355 billion (from USD 1.4 billion to USD 600 million). It is also motivated by the drop in other revenues by 52.69 %, which declined from CFA1228 to CFA 581 billion (from USD 2 billion, to USD 970 million), that of 55.30% of oil revenues which dropped from CFA1188 to CFA 531 billion (from roughly USD 2 billion to USD 880 million) and that of fees and administrative costs which decreased by 49.4%. The amended budget prioritises the country's response to the COVID-19 crisis through a health and economic intervention. A CFA 25 billion (USD 44 million or 0.4% of GDP) initial endowment has been provisioned for the COVID-19 fund and an additional CFA 110 billion ( USD 192 million or 1.74% of GDP) will be reallocated for the rehabilitation of basic hospitals and the improvement of the health supply, which will result in the completion of two general hospitals.
Transparency, accountability and participation
From April 1, 2020 suspension for two (2) months, all tax audits including on-site inspections or documentary checks, general accounting checks. As a result, all response or prescription periods are postponed accordingly. If necessary, this period may be extended depending on the evolution of the health emergency situation.

Business support and tax measures
30 April: Penalty free extension, till June 19, 2020 for the declaration and payment of the 2020 Business tax.

20 May: The government has adopted some measures to ease tax and duty payments for private enterprises. In particular, more time has been given to companies to pay their taxes and tax assessments on site have been abandoned. The import duty directorate is also strongly encouraging electronic payment of dues and allowing more electronic documents to be accepted at the port. Corporate income tax has been reduced to 28 percent from 30 percent and the turnover tax has been reduced to 5 percent from 7 percent for small businesses with turnover below 100 million XAF.

30 August: A special solidarity fund has also been set up to support enterprises affected by COVID-19.
Financing social assistance and food relief
15 April: Penalty free extension until March 27 2020 for the payment of the taxes due earlier in the month.

25 May: 100, 000 families affected by COVID-19 to receive around 50 000 CFA each (around 5 billion CFA).

25 May: 16, 000 people chiefly elderly, children and student will receive food and hygiene packages.

25 May: Communication packages on covid-19 and hygiene materials have been distributed (the cost is over 200 million CFA).

22 April:
Free water and electricity for all households during the confinement period.

Financial aid of 4 billion FCFA (USD 2.2 million) granted to households and people experiencing poverty.

Primary sources
IMF Policy Response to COVID-19
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African Health Stats
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World Bank
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John Hopkins University- Co