World Bank to roll out $160 bln emergency aid over 15 months

Nellie Chapman
April 3, 2020

The World Bank Group has earmarked $1 billion emergency financing support to India to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The money, which is to be distributed between all the states and Union Territories of the country, will be used for buying test kits, upgrading hospitals to deal with a surge in COVID-19 cases by preparing isolation wards and in purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators and medicines. The project will not only help the government of India curb human-to-human transmission of the disease, but will also intensify the health system which is now rolled out to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure preparedness for any other such future outbreaks.

In addition, the World Bank's private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, is providing $8 billion in financing "to help private companies affected by the pandemic and preserve jobs". The Bank has said it is prepared to spend up to $160 billion (R2.9tr) over the next 15 months to combat the pandemic.

According to the bank, 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.

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When it is on the magnitude of this current outbreak, it can be hard to handle even with the support of family and friends". I know many people find this information hard to hear. "It can confuse people if you jump between numbers", Dr.

World Bank Group President David Malpass said the institutional lender was moving quickly to strengthen the ability of developing countries to respond to the virus, and shorten the time to economic and social recovery.

Funds approved Thursday also included $ 200 million for Pakistan, $ 129 million for Sri Lanka; $ 100 million for Afghanistan and $ 82.6 million for Ethiopia, the bank said. The Health systems Preparedness component will strengthen India's Integrated Disease Surveillance Program, revamp infectious disease hospitals, district, civil, general and medical college hospitals, and build a network of high containment Biosafety Level 3 laboratories.

Malpass said that would free up about $14 billion over the next year that the countries would be able to use to fight the coronavirus. The project will develop capacity and systems to detect existing and emerging zoonoses, support biomedical research on COVID-19 by Indian institutions, and upgrade viral research and diagnostic laboratories for testing and research.It will also help address potential significant negative externalities in the event of a widespread COVID-19 outbreak, including comprehensive health awareness and behavior change campaigns on hygiene practices, wearing masks, social distancing, and mental health and psychological services for vulnerable communities. This is out of the total $1.9 billion it has announced as aid for 7 countries as emergency health support. World Bank feels that there would be a huge financial crunch because of which poverty would be increased.

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