Sub-Saharan Africa's economies to contract -3.3% this year, World Bank says

A Congolese woman buys groceries at an open air market, amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo March 28, 2020. REUTERS/Kenny Katombe/Files

NAIROBI (Reuters) – The coronavirus crisis is expected to drive a 3.3% contraction in sub-Saharan African economies and could push 40 million Africans into extreme poverty, the World Bank said on Thursday.

The Washington-based lender said growth in the region would recover in 2021, with economies growing by 2.1%, below 2019’s growth of 2.4%.

“Great uncertainty surrounds the scale and trajectory of the pandemic in the region,” the bank said, citing the experience of European nations and the United States, which are going through a second wave of infections.

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