Africa – The Covid-19 surge has affected Zimbabwe and other African nations severely. Nearly two years into a global pandemic, a new surge in coronavirus cases, and the omicron variant of Covid-19 crashed businesses in African countries.
The inflation ravaged the southern African countries. The countries are facing a severe shortage of foreign currency. In Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, hundreds of people were found sleeping in queues with no social distancing. Reportedly, people were waiting to have some food. Reportedly, a person said, “Yes, I have heard of the new variant, but it can never be worse than having nothing to eat at home right now.”
People standing outside the currency exchange office
Many people were standing outside a currency exchange office to have some money to celebrate festivals with their families. The new variant and surge in covid cases threatened the very survival of millions of people who have already been driven to the edge by a pandemic.
In August, bureaux de change was allowed in the country. Selling of foreign currency to individuals at a favorable rate was allowed. The decision was taken in order to promote financial inclusion and access to foreign currency for low-value transactions. Reportedly, the government-imposed exchange rate for the US dollar is currently about half the black market rate.
UN on African countries
The United Nations Economic Commission on Africa noted in March that about 9 in 10 of the world’s extremely poor people live in Africa. The commission further said that if the impact of the pandemic is not limited by 2021, then 59 million more people could suffer the same fate.
The World Bank also estimates the economy of Africa. Reportedly, the economy went from 2.4% growth in 2019 to a 3.3% contraction in 2020 due to covid-19. Now, the covid-19 situation affected the people more. Some people are finding it hard to purchase food.