WORLD BANK RESPONSE: $160-B FUNDING HELP
When COVID-19 emerged as a global threat, the World Bank Group responded with the largest and fastest crisis response in its history.
Emergency operations have now reached more than 100 countries, home to over 70 percent of the world’s population.
These operations are financing health and social programs, with a special focus on the poorest and most vulnerable people.
Seven-in-ten of these projects are in the world’s poorest countries supported by International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund providing zero- or low-interest loans and grants.
The projects are part of the World Bank Group’s broader pledge to make available up to $160 billion in grants and financing over 15 months to help developing countries mitigate the health, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19.
The bank's emergency health operations aim to boost countries’ preparedness and ability to respond to the pandemic, and protect the people most exposed to its damaging effects.
The Bank’s partnership with the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF) works to ensure continued access to ante-natal and postnatal care, safe childbirths, child vaccinations and other lifesaving health services, and to stave off the secondary health impacts of the pandemic that threaten to reverse years of progress in maternal and child mortality in low- and lower-middle-income countries.
The bank said its goal is not only to save lives, but to help countries build stronger, more resilient health systems to be better prepared for future disease outbreaks and ensure no-one is left behind.
In Pakistan, for instance, a $200 million, multi-sectoral project is securing urgently needed medical equipment and supplies while also providing a safety net in the form of cash transfers and food rations for those hardest hit.