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World Bank Extends USD 1 Billion Emergency Funding To India Amidst COVID-19 Battle
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.
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The World Bank on Thursday (local time) approved USD 1 billion emergency financing to India which will support better screening of coronavirus patients, contact tracing, and laboratory diagnostics. The fund will also be used for procurement of personal protective equipment and establishing of new isolation wards.
The emergency funding is part of World Bank's first set of support operations for developing countries around the world that are battling the coronavirus outbreak. The first set of funding will assist 25 countries, and new operations in over 40 countries using a fast-track process. "In India, $1 billion emergency financing will support better screening, contact tracing, and laboratory diagnostics; procure personal protective equipment; and set up new isolation wards," the World Bank said.
The World Bank will deploy up to USD 160 billion over next 15 months to support coronavirus measures that in turn will help countries respond to immediate health consequences in the backdrop of the disease and bolster economic and social recovery.
The economic program will aim to shorten the time of recovery, create growth favourable conditions and support small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and help protect the poor and vulnerable. The emphasis of the economic plan would be policy-based financing, protecting the poorest households and the environment.
Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Managing Director of Operations said, "This fast response package will save lives and help detect, prevent and respond to COVID-19 in the countries we serve."
He added, "Our country operations will be coordinated at a global level to ensure best practice is quickly shared, including approaches to strengthen national health systems and prepare for potential follow-on waves of this devastating virus."
World Bank Group President, David Malpass said, "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,"
"We are working to strengthen developing nations' ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and shorten the time to economic and social recovery."
In South Asia, the World Bank also approved USD 100 million to support Afghanistan to slow and limit the spread of COVID-19, USD 200 million for Pakistan.
Worldwide there are over 1,000,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, which include more than 51,000 deaths and 208,600 recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins University.