News & Analysis: Lesotho

Southern Africa: Why risk financing is critically important during COVID-19 recovery

“We don’t know how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last, but the prospect of finding an effective vaccine is likely. In contrast, the risk of climatic shocks remains. Many countries in the Southern Africa region have taken the first steps in increasing their financial preparedness to respond to shocks.”

via World Bank

The promise of digitising cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa during COVID-19 and beyond

“This year, the coronavirus pandemic has forced governments to grapple with difficult questions regarding lockdowns, contact tracing and the provision of emergency financial assistance to citizens now without work. In developing countries, these hardships are magnified with the World Bank estimating that remittances – money transfers sent from foreign workers to their home countries – to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are projected to fall by 19.7 percent (from $554 billion in 2019 to $445 billion in 2020). Considering the significant role that remittances play in alleviating poverty and improving nutrition, many governments have turned to mobile cash transfers for vulnerable citizens to use while minimising COVID-19 exposure.”

via Africa Portal

IMF Executive Board Approves US$49.1 million in Emergency Support to Lesotho to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic

“The IMF approved US$49.1 million emergency support under the Rapid Credit Facility and the Rapid Financing Instrument to help Lesotho meet urgent balance of payments needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

via IMF

Are African nations putting policing over public health?

“The shortage of medical expertise, equipment and facilities stands in stark contrast to the powers of law enforcement and security that have been exercised under the pretext of combatting the pandemic. This has laid the groundwork for a rise in police brutality, overreach, harassment, intimidation, corruption and violence.”

via Lowy Institute

Lesotho becomes last African country to record coronavirus case

“The southern African country of Lesotho has recorded its first coronavirus case, its health ministry has said, becoming the last nation on the continent to confirm an infection.”

via Al Jazeera

Global solidarity collapses over access to coronavirus testing kits and vaccines, says Africa CDC director

“Rather than a lack of funds or political will, Africa’s shortfall is triggered by richer nations outcompeting the developing world for critical equipment, says John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).”

via African Business Magazine

Living with the virus

“But cautious optimism should be the watchword – some experts claim that the disease is secretly coiling its way through African societies and that when it raises itself to its full dreadful height, a nightmare could ensue.”

via New African

Remittance flows expected to plunge more than $100bn

“Remittance flows around the world are set to plummet more than $100bn this year, depleting a vital source of financing for developing countries as they struggle with the economic chaos triggered by the pandemic, according to the World Bank.”

via Financial Times

How much health financing does Sub-Saharan Africa need to fight COVID-19?

“We estimated that the additional health financing needs to prepare, respond, and treat COVID-19 are between 1.5 and 3 percent of GDP in Sub-Saharan Africa covering a period of 250 days.”

via World Bank

Virus-free Lesotho rolls out socio-economic interventions

“Lesotho has yet to record a case of COVID-19 as of April 13… But the government in Maseru led by Prime Minister Tom Thabane has rolled out a series of economic intervention measures to cushion the country from the impact of the pandemic. In an address on Monday, April 13; Thabane disclosed that a budget had been allocated for a Disaster Relief Fund with another Relief Fund for the private sector.”

via Africa News