World Bank issues $12bn support for Coronavirus country response

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AS the Coronavirus (COVID-19) reaches more than 60 countries, the World Bank Group has made available an initial package of up to $12bn in immediate support to assist countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the global outbreak.

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.

Through this 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 IDA, IBRD and IFC, will be globally coordinated to support country-based responses.

The COVID-19 support package will make available initial crisis resources of up to $12bn in financing — $8bn of which is new — on a fast track basis.

This comprises up to $2.7bn new financing from IBRD; $1.3bn from IDA, complemented by reprioritisation of $2bn of the Bank’s existing portfolio; and $6bn from International Finance Corporation (IFC), including $2bn from existing trade facilities.

It will also include policy advice and technical assistance drawing on global expertise and country-level knowledge.

‘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,’ he added.

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