Policy Shift Spurs Tanzania to Vow $470 Million to Fight Virus

Tanzania plans to spend at least $470 million to battle the coronavirus after the nation’s new leader shifted the government’s policy to be more proactive against the pandemic.

Half of the funds “will go toward vaccines and other medical equipment,” President Samia Suluhu Hassan told journalists in the commercial hub, Dar es Salaam on Monday. “The other half will go toward bailing out sectors affected by the pandemic.”

The East African nation has 100 known active cases of the virus, including 70 patients on oxygen, Hassan said, marking the first time the government has released Covid-19 data in about a year. Hassan’s predecessor, John Magufuli, played down the threat of the disease and hadn’t announced any plans for acquiring vaccines before he died in March.

The International Monetary Fund said earlier this month that the government needed to resume disclosing numbers on the pandemic before a request for a $574 million loan is approved.

Hassan reiterated her pledge to boost private investment, having directed her administration to fast track the resumption of delayed initiatives including a $30 billion liquefied natural gas project. The government will put in place “an enabling environment” for business to thrive, she said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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