Covid-19 crisis: World Bank to rescue with $160-billion aid to 100 nations

Topics World Bank  | Coronavirus | Lockdown

“The World Bank Group has moved quickly and decisively to establish emergency response operations in 100 countries, with mechanisms that allow other donors to rapidly expand the programmes,” WB President said.
The Covid-19 pandemic is expected to put over 60 million people into extreme poverty globally, the World Bank has said as it announced emergency operations worth $160 billion in 100 developing countries to fight the deadly virus.

“The pandemic and shutdown of advanced economies could push as many as 60 million people into extreme poverty — erasing much of the recent progress made in poverty alleviation,” World Bank President David Malpass told reporters during a conference call on Tuesday. “The World Bank Group has moved quickly and decisively to establish emergency response operations in 100 countries, with mechanisms that allow other donors to rapidly expand the programmes,” he said.

Of the 100 countries, home to 70 per cent of the world's population, 39 are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nearly one-third of the total projects are in fragile and conflict-affected situations, such as Afghanistan, Chad, Haiti, and Niger. “To return to growth, our goal must be rapid, flexible responses to tackle the health emergency, provide cash and other expandable support to protect the poor, maintain the private sector, and strengthen economic resilience and recovery,” Malpass said.

“This represents a significant milestone in the World Bank Group's effort to deploy $160 billion over a 15-month period. So this is a milestone in the $160 billion that we have committed to,” he said.

Malpass said the programmes are tailored to the countries to effectively respond to the health, economic and social shocks that each of them are facing. The programmes will reinforce healthcare systems and also help procure vital life-saving medical equipment and supplies. And these programmes contain mechanisms that allow other donors to rapidly expand the programme, he added.

“We invite that. There can be co-financing, there can be additional donors parallel with these programmes, so it is important that we note that the programmes are expandable. And because of the breadth that means the interested donors and other multilateral banks can reach countries around the world,” the World Bank President said.

 


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