Lusaka ~ Wed, 23 Sept 2020
By ZR Reporter
The Zambian government has mostly been using its own financial resources to fight the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic as countries with higher GDP per capita have been allocated more funding to fight COVID-19 than poor nations like Zambia, New Statesman’s analysis has revealed.
Despite the country receiving external help, the Treasury has been allocating the country’s own resources to not only fight the pandemic but also cushion its impact through, among others, the COVID bond being administered by the Bank of Zambia.
The IMF pledged around $23.3bn of the total $48bn committed, followed by $13.1bn committed by the World Bank, $6.8bn by the Asian Development Bank, $2.3bn by the Inter-American Development Bank and $1.5bn by the African Development Bank.
Around $13.3bn was allocated to countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with an additional $9.6bn going to Latin America and the Caribbean and $8.3bn to South Asia.
But out of this money, Zambia and four other countries only received less than 20 cents per person, according to data released by the New Statesman.
Yet, of the ten nations that received the most aid per capita, nine are small island countries, many of which are classed as high-income economies by the World Bank.
The Bahamas received $182.4m in coronavirus funding for a population of around 393,000, putting its per capita funding at $464.
Other island nations also received more money per person than most, including the Seychelles ($389/capita), Saint Lucia ($274), Barbados ($230) and Grenada ($199).
Some countries in eastern Europe are also among those that received the most money per capita, such as Macedonia ($139), Georgia ($139) and Bosnia and Herzegovina ($121) while on the other end of the scale, Zambia, Kazakhstan, Cameroon, Tanzania and Brazil have all received less than 20 cents per person.
“Money being made available, for instance to Africa, is only around $20bn compared to an ask by African ministers of finance of $100bn and a global call by the UN for $2.5tn [with Africa’s proportion likely to be at least $250bn of this]. As a result, many countries are seeing a spike in their debt levels,” New Statesman’s analysis has revealed.