PRESS Statement

AHBN charges African Heads of State on prudent spending of over US$33.7 billion Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to the region

…commit some of the funding to COVID-19 Vaccines Equitable Access, Health Security and Economic recovery

Abuja, Nigeria; 1 October 2021: The Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) has called on African Heads of State to make use of the 23.7 billion Special Drawing Rights (SDR) (US$33.7 billion), earmarked by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Africa, to support economic recovery, COVID-19 vaccines equitable access and health security.

In August this year, the IMF announced that its new global allocation of 456.5 billion SDR (equivalent to US$650 billion) will be made to its 190 member countries. This, being the largest SDR in the IMF’s history is targeted at helping countries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the IMF Managing Director, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, “The SDR allocation will provide additional liquidity to the global economic system – supplementing countries’ foreign exchange reserves and reducing their reliance on more domestic or external debt. Countries can use the space provided by the SDR allocation to support their economies and step up their fight against the crisis.”

The breakdown of the 456.5 billion SDR showed that the 55 African countries got 23.7 billion SDR, while non-African countries got 432.8 billion SDR.

A quick look at the allocation of the 23.8 billion SDR for African countries showed that South Africa got the highest SDR at 2.9 billion, while São Tomé and Príncipe got the least allocation of 14.2million SDR. Other countries like Liberia received 247.7million, with Nigeria and Sierra Leone getting 2.3 billion and 198.8million respectively.

Thus, AHBN calls on Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the media in Africa to engage government agencies, including Ministers  of Finance and Governors of Central Banks, to ensure prudent utilization of the US$33.7 billion allocated to countries within the region.

AHBN further charges the CSOs to engage in advocacy and accountability that promotes long-term country needs that foster the rebuilding of economies in African countries, and also promote the participation of CSOs, professional bodies and media in high-level government committees to promote transparent utilization of the SDR.

AHBN also has aligns with the global call that encourages countries with stronger economies to voluntarily channel their SDRs to the poorest and most vulnerable nations, or channel their SDRs to support lending by multilateral development banks.

“The US$33.7billion allocated to African countries can boost the economies of the region, if properly and judiciously deployed to critical sectors. These funds can immensely improve the infrastructural deficit in most African countries.

“These huge funds can also help the African region support COVID-19 vaccines equitable access and distribution, strengthen health security and catalyze greater investment in sustainable financing and development”.

“AHBN acknowledges that while every country has the right to decide how these funds will be utilized, governments should ensure that those decisions are prudent, well-informed and evidence-based for the wellbeing of Africans.

“All avenues that could lead to misappropriation and mismanagement should be blocked to ensure that Africans get value for these huge resources,” says the AHBN Coordinator, Dr Aminu Magashi Garba.

The End

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Aminu Magashi Garba

Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) Coordinator


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For a detailed breakdown of the SDR to all 55 African countries, visit: