Investing in Africa’s people yields impact, strengthens efforts to beat pandemic

The pandemic is an important reminder of how precious and productive an investment human capital is. One year after the launch of the World Bank’s Africa Human Capital Plan, there has not only been a significant scale-up, but also a shift in World Bank support to African countries.

Human capital setback: The coronavirus (COVID-19) has unleashed a global health emergency and an unprecedented economic crisis. Without rapid, decisive, and coordinated action, the crisis threatens to pose a huge setback to hard-won gains in human capital.

Related: A new World Bank report, Protecting People and Economies, places a spotlight on the imperative of protecting human capital in times of crisis and provides pathway to mitigate its worst impacts.

The Maldives’ response: A $7.3 million World Bank project aims to help the country prevent, detect and respond to the coronavirus and strengthen the preparedness of its public health system.

Morocco’s recovery: Over three months into the crisis, Morocco has today one of the lowest fatality rates in the world (less than 2.6%) and 90% of the cases have already recovered.

Meanwhile in Europe and Central Asia: The COVID-19 pandemic has countries around the region battling severe health, social, and economic impacts on an unprecedented scale. The Europe and Central Asia region is responding in an unprecedented way by providing some $1.5 billion to help countries protect lives and livelihoods, enhance COVID-19 response capabilities, and blunt the most server economic impacts of this pandemic.

Banking sector: The IMF and the World Bank have taken a unified position to assist and support our member countries. These joint recommendations aid the development, monitoring, and strengthening of policies to sustain financial health during this pandemic and, equally important, for the road to recovery.

Lessons learned for Central Asia: “Building back better” must happen on the strong foundation of equity, whereby governments ensure that all children, especially at-risk youth and special needs students, can continue to learn.

Global economy: FDI inflows have long been a key building block for developing countries, usually providing the largest source of external finance—more than official development assistance, or portfolio investment flows. They will be crucial for a COVID-19 recovery.

Go deeper: Learn how the World Bank Group is responding to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Explore our multilingual portal. Click, bookmark and come back for updates.