As COVID-19 reaches more than 60 countries, the World Bank Group is making available an initial package of up to $12 billion in immediate support to assist countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the global outbreak. This financing is designed to help member countries take effective action to respond to and, where possible, lessen the tragic impacts posed by the COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Through this new fast track package, the World Bank Group will help developing countries strengthen health systems, including better access to health services to safeguard people from the epidemic, strengthen disease surveillance, bolster public health interventions, and work with the private sector to reduce the impact on economies. The financial package, with financing drawn from across IDA, IBRD and IFC, will be globally coordinated to support country-based responses.
The COVID-19 support package will make available initial crisis resources of up to $12 billion in financing — $8 billion of which is new — on a fast track basis. This comprises up to:
- $2.7 billion new financings from IBRD
- $1.3 billion from IDA
- Reprioritization of $2 billion of the Bank’s existing portfolio
- $6 billion from IFC, including $2 billion from existing trade facilities.
It will also include policy advice and technical assistance drawing on global expertise and country-level knowledge.
The financial package will provide grants and low-interest loans from IDA for low-income countries and loans from IBRD for middle-income countries.
International Finance Corporation, the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, will provide its clients with the necessary support to continue operating and to sustain jobs.
The World Bank support will cover a range of interventions to:
- strengthen health services and primary health care
- bolster disease monitoring and reporting
- train front line health workers
- encourage community engagement to maintain public trust
- improve access to treatment for the poorest patients
IFC will work with commercial bank clients to expand trade finance and working capital lines. IFC will also directly support its corporate clients — with a focus on strategic sectors including medical equipment and pharmaceuticals — to sustain supply chains and limit downside risks.
Countries face different levels of risk and vulnerability to COVID-19 and will require different levels of support. The Bank Group support will prioritize the poorest countries and those at high risk with low capacity.
As the spread of COVID-19 and its impact continues to evolve, the World Bank Group will adapt its approach and resources as needed. The World Bank Group is actively engaged with international institutions and country authorities to help coordinate the global response.