Driven by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, growth in Sub-Saharan Africa region is expected to fall by 3.3% in 2020, pushing the region into its first recession in 25 years, the World Bank voiced Thursday.

“As Sub-Saharan African countries have managed to keep the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus) under control with relatively low number of cases, the pandemic continues to take a toll on African lives and economies,” the World Bank said in a report Thursday.

“Economic activity [in Sub-Saharan region] is projected to decline by 3.3% in 2020, confirming the region’s first recession in 25 years,” the report said.

“The substantial downturn in economic activity will cost the region [home to more than one billion people] at least $115 billion in output losses this year, in part caused by lower domestic consumption and investment brought on by containment measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus,” the World Bank noted.

The World Bank’s report went on to warn that the consequences of the situation could push up to 40 million people in the region “into extreme poverty, erasing at least five years of progress in fighting poverty.”

“Similarly, COVID-19 could set back progress in building human capital, as school closures will affect nearly 253 million students, potentially causing losses in learning,” it added.

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