Officials warn Africa is at ‘break the glass’ moment

ECADF | (FT) — Africa has reached a “break the glass moment”, an emergency in which international actors need to take drastic action if the world’s poorest continent is to avoid a human and economic catastrophe, Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana’s finance minister, told the Financial Times.

Mr Ofori-Atta, who is also chairman of the joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee, said the two institutions had acted swiftly, but would need to do much more. They should provide governments with liquidity support as well as money to fight the virus and debt relief, he said, adding that the coronavirus threatened to overwhelm Africa’s inadequate health systems.

Last month, Bill Gates warned that the pandemic could kill 10m Africans if it were allowed to rip through the continent and Imperial College London published a study saying that, if governments failed to act, the virus could claim 40m lives worldwide.