The World Bank announced Thursday the approval of a $ 1.9 billion emergency financial package to help its member countries cope with the effects of the COVID-19 disease pandemic through a rapid disbursement window.
The country most benefited by this first remittance of financial aid is India, which will receive one billion dollars, while in Latin America and the Caribbean the nations that will access this financing are Argentina, with 35 million dollars, as well as Ecuador, Haiti and Paraguay, each with 20 million.
According to a statement issued by the World Bank, its Board of Executive Directors approved this first financial package for rapid response to the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which benefits a total of 25 countries, but other operations will be approved so that the group rises to more than 40 nations.
In addition, the World Bank is working around the world to redistribute resources in existing projects financed by the financial institution worth $ 1.7 billion, the agency added.
The World Bank assured that it is prepared to deploy up to 160,000 million dollars in the next 15 months to support measures to combat COVID-19, in addition to helping countries to respond to the immediate health consequences of the pandemic and strengthen their economic recovery.
"The broader economic program will aim to shorten recovery time, create conditions for growth, support small and medium-sized businesses and help protect the poor and vulnerable," the agency said.
Among the countries benefiting the most from this first issue of fast loans are Afghanistan, with $ 100.4 million, Pakistan with 200, Sri Lanka with 128.6 million, Ethiopia with 82.6, Kenya with 50, the Democratic Republic of the Congo with 47.2, Ghana with 35, and Yemen with 26.9 million.
"There will be a strong focus on poverty in these operations, with an emphasis on policy-based financing and the protection of the poorest households and the environment," said the World Bank.
The agency's president, David Malpass, said in the statement that the institution already finances health response operations to COVID-19 in more than 65 countries and that they are working to strengthen the capacity of developing nations to respond to the pandemic and " shorten the time for economic and social recovery. "
"The poorest and most vulnerable countries are likely to be the most affected, and our teams around the world remain focused on solutions at the national and regional levels to address the crisis," he added.
The World Bank is also helping poorer countries access essential medical supplies by reaching out to providers on behalf of governments, he said.
The global expansion of COVID-19 has already affected more than a million people worldwide and has killed more than 53,000 people.