AGENCIES, Washington: The World Bank on Thursday approved $1bn emergency financing for India to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed 53 lives and infected over 2,000 others in the country.
The World Bank’s first set of aid projects, amounting to $1.9 billion, will assist 25 countries, and new operations are moving forward in over 40 nations using the fast-track process, the bank said.
The largest chunk of the emergency financial assistance has gone to India.
“In India, US$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 after its Board of executive directors approved the first set of emergency support operations for developing countries around the world, using a dedicated, fast-track facility for COVID-19 response.
“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,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass.
“We are working to strengthen (the) developing nations” ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and shorten the time to economic and social recovery. 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,” Malpass said.