COVID-19: World Bank Approves $1 Bn Emergency Funds for India 

The World Bank has rolled out $160 billion in emergency aid to 25 COVID-19 affected countries.

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A policeman wearing a coronavirus-themed outfit walks at a market to raise awareness about social distancing, during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19, in Chennai, Thursday, 2 April, 2020.

The World Bank on Thursday, 2 April approved USD 1 billion in emergency aid over 15 months to India to deal with the impact of the global novel coronavirus pandemic

The World Bank has in total rolled out USD 160 billion in emergency aid to countries affected with COVID-19, with India being the largest beneficiary of the fund.

The board of the Washington-based development lender announced the first set of fast-track crisis funding, with an initial USD 1.9 billion going to projects in 25 countries, and operations moving forward in another 40 nations, the bank said in a statement.

“We are working to strengthen developing nations’ ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and shorten the time to economic and social recovery.”
David Malpass, World Bank President

"The poorest and most vulnerable countries will likely be hit the hardest, and our teams around the world remain focused on country-level and regional solutions to address the ongoing crisis."

The bank also is working to redeploy USD 1.7 billion of existing funding, including the use of "catastrophic drawdowns," a type of emergency credit line.

India, the largest beneficiary, is followed by Pakistan with USD 200 million and Afghanistan with a little over USD 100 million, but funding is going to countries on nearly every continent, the bank said.

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 Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), which provides political risk insurance and credit enhancement to private sector investors and lenders, is also providing broader financial support which included USD 6 billion in guarantees.

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