In order to strengthen the infrastructure to fight the deadly coronavirus, the World Bank has granted India an emergency funding of $1 billion. The fund will be used for developing the machinery that is needed to combat the pandemic.
In a recent statement, the World Bank informed that the first group of projects, that amounts to $1.9 billion, will support 25 nations. It also mentioned that new operations were moving forward in more than 40 countries. Efforts are also being made to redeploy the resources in the existing financed projects worth $1.7 billion. The World Bank announced that it is prepared to infuse $160 billion over the next 15 months. This will help tackle the immediate health consequences of the pandemic and aid in economic recovery.
The World Bank Group President said, “This fast action to reduce the spread of and we already have health response operations moving forward in over 65 countries.”
“We are working to strengthen developing nations’ ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and shorten the time to economic and social recovery. The poorest and most vulnerable countries will likely be hit the hardest, and our teams around the world remain focused on country-level and regional solutions to address the ongoing crisis” he added.
According to the World Bank, these operations will have a strong poverty focus. Emphasis will be laid on policy-based financing and supporting the poorest households and environments. It also informed that the aim of the broader economic program will be to reduce the recovery time, create growth conditions, support poor and vulnerable and support SMEs.
Out of the 25 nations, India has been given the biggest grant of $1 billion. The World Bank said, “In India, $1 billion emergency financing will support better screening, contact tracing, and laboratory diagnostics; procure personal protective equipment; and set up new isolation wards.”
The $200 million World Bank fund granted to Pakistan will be used for supporting its “preparedness and emergency response in the health sector and include social protection and education measures to help the poor and vulnerable cope with the immediate impacts of the pandemic”. Afghanistan was provided $100 million of emergency funding and $128.6 million were given to Sri Lanka.
Other than this, International Financial Corporation is giving $8 billion in financing in order to support private companies that have been affected by the crisis and to help preserve jobs. According to the World Bank’s statement, It is already working on the rapid deployment of a pipeline of around 300 companies across emerging markets to support private sector activity.