WB Group Increases COVID-19 Response to Sustain Economies, Protect Jobs

The World Bank has approved an increased 14 billion USD package to assist companies and countries in their efforts to prevent, detect and respond to the rapid spread of COVID-19.

In a statement it issued yesterday, the World Bank said the new financial support will strengthen national systems for public health preparedness, including disease containment, diagnosis, and treatment as well as support for the private sector.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will increase its COVID-19 related financing availability to 8 billion USD as part of the 14 billion USD package, up from an earlier 6 billion USD, to support private companies and their employees hurt by the economic downturn caused by the spread of COVID-19, it added.

The large amount of the IFC financing will go to client financial institutions to enable them continue to offer trade financing, working-capital support and medium-term financing to private companies struggling with disruptions in supply chains.

“IFC’s response will also help existing clients in economic sectors directly affected by the pandemic — such as tourism and manufacturing — to continue to pay their bills,” the bank stated.

According to the statement, the package will also benefit sectors involved in responding to the pandemic, including healthcare and related industries, which face increased demand for services, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.

It further pointed out that the World Bank Group is committed to a fast and flexible response based on the needs of developing countries. Support operations are already underway, and the expanded funding tools approved will help sustain economies, companies and jobs.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has described the COVID-19 pandemic as the “defining global health crisis of our time” as it has now spread in almost all countries across the world.

Source: Ethiopia News Agency