World Bank Earmarks $1 Billion To Protect India’s Poorest From Covid-19
The World Bank has approved $1 billion support to India for providing social assistance to the poor and households that are severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
With this, the World Bank has now committed a total of $2 billion to aid India’s fight against the coronavirus. Last month, it had earmarked $1 billion for the country’s health sector.
This new support will be funded in two phases—an immediate allocation of $750 million for FY20 and $250 million in FY21, the World Bank said in a statement.
About $550 million will be financed by a credit from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm, and $200 million will be a loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, with a final maturity of 18.5 years including a grace period of five years.
The program will be implemented by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
The remaining $250 million will be made available after June 30, 2020.
The response to the Covid-19 pandemic has required governments around the world to introduce social distancing and lockdowns in unprecedented ways, World Bank’s India Director Junaid Ahmad said during a webinar.
These measures, intended to contain the spread of the virus have, however, impacted economies and jobs especially in the informal sector. India with the world's largest lockdown has not been an exception to this trend, he said.