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Africa’s $4-billion cushion against Ukraine war shocks

AFREXIMBANK said it had set up a $4 billion trade finance programme to cushion economies and businesses on the continent against shocks arising from the war in Ukraine, that demand for financing already exceeds the amount.

Cairo-headquartered Afreximbank said its Ukraine Crisis Adjustment Trade Financing Programme for Africa was approved by its board at the end of March.

It said the fund would extend to areas such as oil and metals buy-back financing, commodity export revenue stabilisation and tourism revenue deficit financing.

“Given the importance of both Russia and Ukraine as sources of crude oil and gas, raw materials and grains, the outbreak of the conflict has wider repercussions on a global scale, including adversely affecting African economies, especially those that rely heavily on grain, fertiliser and fuel imports,” it said in a statement.

The two countries account for around 29% of global wheat exports, 19% of world corn supplies and 80% of world sunflower oil exports.

The bank said it had already received financing requests exceeding $15 billion.

“There is some urgency to meet these requests to avoid catastrophic social conditions across Africa and reduce the risk of their morphing into political challenges,” it said.

By The African Mirror

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