Context: The World Bank has approved USD 1 billion emergency funding for India to help it tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

More about the news:

  • The World Bank's first set of aid projects, amounting to USD 1.9 billion, will assist 25 countries, and new operations are moving forward in over 40 nations using the fast-track process.
  • The largest chunk of the emergency financial assistance has gone to India - USD 1 billion. This will support better screening, contact tracing, and laboratory diagnostics; procure personal protective equipment; and set up new isolation wards.
  • In South Asia, the World Bank also approved USD 200 million for Pakistan, USD 100 million for Afghanistan, USD 7.3 million for the Maldives and USD 128.6 million for Sri Lanka.

How will it help?

The broader economic program will aim 

  • to shorten the time to recovery, 
  • create conditions for growth, 
  • support small and medium enterprises, and 
  • help protect the poor and vulnerable.

The World Bank said it was now working to grant up to USD 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.

Source: The Mint