Yellen pointed out that many African economies have absorbed a growing debt burden, which has limited their ability to respond to the crisis.
She said in a statement that the U.S. and its partners in Africa should use the pandemic as an "opportunity to facilitate structural transformation, helping to make African economies more inclusive and resilient to future shocks, including those related to climate change."
The pandemic in Africa has pushed up to 40 million people into extreme poverty, according to the World Bank. The International Monetary Fund estimated that Africa will need $1.2 trillion over the next three years to recover from the coronavirus, the Brookings Institute reported. And the U.S. is attempting to counter China’s influence in Africa going into the next decade.
French President Emmanuel Macron is set to host a summit that focuses on Africa and financing in the post-pandemic world.
Yellen said the U.S. has committed $4 billion to enable vaccine access across the globe. She said that the U.S. will support African investments "for a sustainable and green recovery."