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World Bank Approves $1 Bn Emergency Fund for India to Tackle Corona Crisis

New Delhi, April 3, 2020:

The World Bank has approved $ 1 Billion emergency fund for India in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, which has impacted 2,567 people in the country, including 72 fatalities.
The World Bank, on Friday shared that it will aid in expanding lab capacity to diagnose diseases, procuring testing kits and ventilators. It will also help set up isolation wards in the country and support COVID-19 research in the Indian institutions.
“In India, USD 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.
“How will the @WorldBank Group emergency package to help countries respond to  #Coronavirus be used? In #India, we’re hoping to make a difference now, and shorten the time to recovery,” tweeted the World Bank.
The World Bank’s focus is to help health systems tackle the immediate challenges of COVID-19. “In countries ranging from Afghanistan and Haiti to India, Mongolia, and Tajikistan, the financing will help bring more medical staff onboard and ensure that they are well trained and equipped to deliver emergency care,” read a statement by the World Bank.
The World Bank’s first set of aid projects, which amounts 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.
In South Asia, the World Bank also approved $ 200 million for Pakistan, $ 100 million for Afghanistan, $ 7.3 million for Maldives and $ 128.6 million for Sri Lanka.
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The World Bank said it is now working to grant up to $ 160 billion over the next 15 months to support measures to tackle the pandemic which will focus on the immediate health consequences and bolster economic recovery.
“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.
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According to the bank, $ 100 million will support Afghanistan to slow and limit the spread of COVID-19 through enhanced detection, surveillance, and laboratory systems, as well as strengthen essential health care delivery and intensive care.
Across the world, the number of coronavirus cases has skyrocketed past the 1 million mark and cases now stand at 1,015,877. Although 212,993 have recovered from the disease, 53,218 have died from complications. The United States has reported 245,193 cases, by far the highest number recorded in any country, and 6,088 have died so far.
Italy still leads the list of country with the highest number of casualties. 13,915 Italians have perished so far due to the virus.
In India, 2,543 people have been afflicted by the coronavirus so far. The death toll has risen to 72.
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