World Bank group to support affected COVID-19 countries with $12b
THE World Bank Group has said it would make available, an initial package of up to $12 billion in immediate support to assist countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the global outbreak of COVID-19 also known as coronavirus.
A statement by the group said this financing is designed to help member countries take effective action to respond to and, where possible, lessen the tragic impacts posed by the virus.
At the moment, COVID-19 has reached more than 60 countries,
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.
International Development Association (IDA), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Finance Corporation (IFC), are the institutions coordinated to support country-based responses.
The World Bank gave a breakdown of how the funds would be distributed and said $8 billion of it is now on a fast track basis.
This comprises of up to $2.7 billion new financing from IBRD; $1.3 billion from IDA, complemented by reprioritisation of $2 billion of the Bank’s existing portfolio; and $6 billion from IFC, including $2 billion 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.
According to the report, the financial package will provide grants and low-interest loans from IDA for low-income countries and loans from IBRD for middle-income countries, using all of the Bank’s operational instruments with processing accelerated on a fast track basis.
International Finance Corporation, the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, will provide its clients with the necessary support to continue operating and to sustain jobs.
These solutions will leverage the lessons learned from similar events in the past with a goal to minimize the negative economic and social impacts of COVID-19 globally
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday that the global death rate of the new coronavirus was 3.4 percent.
There are currently 94,201 cases of COVID-19 across 82 countries with 3,219 deaths. China where the first case was recorded has the highest number of cases, 80,282, followed by South Korea, 5,621 and Iran and Italy with 2,922 and 2,502 cases respectively.
On Thursday, February 27, Nigerians Federal Ministry of Health confirmed a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in Lagos State.
The case is the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the beginning of the outbreak in China in January 2020.