AKIPRESS.COM - The World Bank Group is making 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 as COVID-19 reaches 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 (coronavirus).
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 $12 billion in financing — $8 billion of which is new — on a fast track basis. This comprises up to $2.7 billion new financing from IBRD; $1.3 billion from IDA, complemented by reprioritization 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.
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.
The World Bank support will cover a range of interventions to strengthen health services and primary health care, bolster disease monitoring and reporting, train front line health workers, encourage community engagement to maintain public trust, and improve access to treatment for the poorest patients.
The Bank Group support will prioritize the poorest countries and those at high risk with low capacity.