The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has urged countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to ensure that the vast global fiscal support deployed to fight COVID-19 pandemic also works to build a smatter greener and more equitable future. 

Georgieva observed that Sub-Saharan Africa suffers most from climate related disasters and has a long way to go to improve quality and affordability of internet access.

In a new blog post, the IMF Managing Director and IMF African Department Director Abebe Aemro Selassie write that as the continent emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, policies to improve, empower people and withstand shocks are vital to safeguarding development.

“The fact is, investing in a more resilient future will be more cost-effective than repeated rebuilding after crises or disasters,” Georgieva said.

Perhaps first among the many lessons of 2020 is that the notion of so-called black swan events is not some remote worry.

These purportedly once-in-a-generation events are occurring with increasing frequency.

Commenting on climate related shocks IMF African Department Director Selassie said, more than any other region, Sub-Saharan Africa is vulnerable to climate related shocks because of its heavy dependence on rain-fed agriculture and limited ability to adapt to shocks.

Every year, the livelihoods of millions are threatened by climate induced disasters.

“Nowhere is that more important than in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is where the needs are greatest and also home to the world’s youngest population, creating added urgency to act now to chart a path to a more resilient recovery,” Selassie added.

The regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa published earlier this year highlights the lasting damage in the region from climate events.

Over the medium term, annual per capita economic growth can decline an additional 1 percentage point with each drought.

That impact is eight times worse than for an emerging market or developing economy in other parts of the world.