The World Bank Group announced Tuesday that it is making available an initial package of up to 12 billion U.S. dollars in immediate support to assist countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.
This new fast track package 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.
“We are working to provide a fast, flexible response based on developing country needs in dealing with the spread of COVID-19,” World Bank Group President David Malpass said in a statement.
“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 said.
The World Bank Group noted that countries face different levels of risk and vulnerability to COVID-19, and will require different levels of support. Therefore, its support will prioritize the poorest countries and those at high risk with low capacity.
“As the spread of COVID-19 and its impact continues to evolve, the World Bank Group will adapt its approach and resources as needed,” said the statement, adding that the World Bank Group is actively engaged with international institutions and country authorities to help coordinate the global response.
The funding package came one day after the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank said in a joint statement that they stand ready to help member countries address the human tragedy and economic challenge posed by COVID-19. Enditem