Washington DC: The World Bank Group has announced it is making available an initial package of up to US$12 billion in immediate support to assist countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the global outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
In a statement, the World Bank said as the virus reached more than 60 countries, “This financing is designed to help member countries take effective action to respond to and, where possible, lessen the tragic impacts posed by the COVID-19.”
It added that with the new fast track package, the World Bank Group will help developing countries strengthen health systems, including better access to health services to safeguard people from the epidemic, strengthen disease surveillance, bolster public health interventions, and work with the private sector to reduce the impact on economies.
The financial package, with financing drawn from across the International Development Association, IDA, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD, and International Finance Corporation, IFC, will be globally coordinated to support country-based responses.
“We are working to provide a fast, flexible response based on developing country needs in dealing with the spread of COVID-19,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. “This includes emergency financing, policy advice, and technical assistance, building on the World Bank Group’s existing instruments and expertise to help countries respond to the crisis.”