Across the development and medical community, experts have acknowledged the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on women. Many in Africa work in agriculture and the informal sector, both industries facing massive stagnation from closed businesses and closed borders.

The Vice President of Agriculture, Human and Social Development at the African Development Bank, Jennifer Blanke, says the pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities among the sexes and exacerbating the vulnerabilities of social, political and economic systems.

In light of this, Blanke asserts that women are “front and center” in the Bank’s emergency response lending to regional member countries. Healthcare personnel, mostly women, are receiving training in some countries as frontline workers, she explains. Women are also targeted for financial transfers to families so that education fees, medical bills and other household needs can be met.

In her interview ahead of the 2020 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank, VP Blanke says women are key to “building back better in Africa,” and says the African Development Bank will be alongside women to propel them ahead.

For more on the “Road to the 2020 Annual Meetings: A conversation with Jennifer Blanke,” click here