The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says the projected economic growth of the region may slump to 2 per cent from 3.3 per cent if the coronavirus pandemic ends in June.
The group noted that the economic forecasts indicate that the economic growth rate would fall to a negative region of -2.1 per cent if the region fails to take adequate measures to slow down the spread of the virus.
The situation, it said, would be dire if the pandemic continues beyond the second half of 2020 as projected by the International Monetary Fund.
In a statement issued after a virtual summit held by the sub-regional heads on Thursday, the organisation said it is concerned about the negative social, economic, financial and human security impact of COVID-19 on all member states.
The organisation noted that it also took note of the estimated overall reduction of financial resources for the whole economy occasioned by the pandemic at the regional level.
“The Summit decided that the containment, prevention and fight against COVID-19 remain a major priority,” the statement said.
“In this regard, they reaffirmed their determination and willingness to do everything possible to protect citizens and residents of the community and combine their efforts to find a lasting solution to the health crisis.”
The organisation added that its member states have reaffirmed their commitment to continue their coordinated efforts in fighting against the pandemic and to take the appropriate measures in reviving the economies.
ECOWAS noted that it would invite the ECOWAS member states to make their contribution to the African Union Solidarity Fund and strengthen cooperation between the African CDC and the WAHO in order to make support to the ECOWAS member states more effective.
It also vowed to strengthen cooperation between member states in research, training and experience sharing in health matters in general, and in the fight against COVID-19 in particular.
The statement also noted that “the organisation will assess the situation thoroughly, on a case-by-case basis, before lifting the measures put in place to protect the population”.