World Bank approves $1.9bn in emergency funds for Covid-19 response

Elias Hubbard
April 3, 2020

Through this project, the Government of Sri Lanka will be better equipped to respond to emergencies and strengthen existing institutions such as the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, which is now Sri Lanka's only available medical facility outfitted for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases.

This $100 million will be made available to the government and the people of Ghana as short, medium and long-term support.

The World Bank has announced that India is to receive $1 billion in emergency financing to fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is the largest ever health sector support from the bank to India, a World Bank press release said early on Friday. "It's crucial that we all work together with other partners to help minimize the negative impact of the pandemic on health systems, social services and economic activities".

According to the bank, United States dollars 100 million will support Afghanistan to slow and limit the spread of COVID-19 through enhanced detection, surveillance, and laboratory systems, as well as strengthen essential health care delivery and intensive care.

The fund is part of the World Bank's first group of projects, amounting to $1.9 billion that will assist 25 countries. It will also be used to procure personal protective equipment and set up new isolation wards in the country.

"The World Bank Group is taking broad, fast action to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and we already have health response operations moving forward in over 65 countries", said World Bank Group President David Malpass.

Moreover, International Finance Corporation (IFC) is providing $8 billion in financing to help private companies affected by the pandemic and preserve jobs. IBRD and IDA are making an initial $6 billion available for the health-response.

World Bank officials said the emergency resources would include money to purchase critical medical supplies such as masks and ventilators, with the World Bank lending its procurement expertise to help obtain these supplies on global markets. The World Bank said it is ready to infuse $160 billion over the next 15 months that will help address immediate health consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and bolster economic recovery. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries.

Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61 percent going to Africa.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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