Coronavirus Outbreak: World Bank approves $1 billion emergency fund to help India fight pandemic

The World Bank on 2 April  approved $1 billion emergency fund for India to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The emergency financing is being given to support better screening, contact tracing and laboratory diagnostics in the country. It will also be used to procure personal protective equipment and set up new isolation wards in the country.

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Representational image. Reuters

The fund is part of the World Bank’s first group of projects, amounting to $1.9 billion that will assist 25 countries.

Speaking about the initiative, World Bank group president David Malpass said they are taking rapid action to reduce the spread of COVID-19. He said health response operations are already moving forward in over 65 countries.

“We are working to strengthen 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.

The World Bank is also helping countries access critically needed medical supplies by reaching out to suppliers on behalf of governments.

In the South Asia region, the World Bank is giving $100 million to support Afghanistan to slow and limi the spread of COVID-19 and $200 million to support Pakistan's preparedness and emergency response in health sector.

The coronavirus pandemic has already affected over 2,000 people in India with 53 people succumbing to the disease.

Updated Date: Apr 03, 2020 12:16:05 IST



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