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World Bank announces up to USD 12 bn as emergency aid to countries coping with coronavirus

ANI | Updated: Mar 04, 2020 10:08 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar 4 (ANI): As coronavirus reaches more than 60 countries, the World Bank Group has pledged to make available an initial package of up to USD 12 billion to assist countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the global outbreak.
The bank on Tuesday (local time) released a statement announcing an emergency fast track package that includes low-cost loans, grants, and technical assistance.
"We are working to provide a fast, flexible response based on developing country needs in dealing with the spread of COVID-19," said World Bank Group President David Malpass.
"This includes emergency financing, policy advice, and technical assistance, building on the World Bank Group's existing instruments and expertise to help countries respond to the crisis," he added.
The statement further stated that the financing is designed to help member countries take effective action to respond to and, where possible, lessen the tragic impacts posed by coronavirus.

The organisation asserted that it would prioritise the poorest and most at-risk countries in distributing the aid to counter the effects of the virus.
Citing growing concerns about the fast-spreading coronavirus, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have also decided to adopt a "virtual format" for their Spring Meetings instead of convening in person in Washington.
On Tuesday, Malpass and Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of IMF, released a joint statement in which they stated that their goal was to serve their membership effectively while ensuring the health and safety of participants and staff.
"With this adapted format, we are confident that our member countries will be able to effectively engage on pressing global economic issues at these Spring Meetings," the statement said.
The leaders added that the institutions would leverage IT-related and virtual connection capabilities to hold essential policy consultations while continuing to share IMF and World Bank analyses.
This years' Spring Meetings are scheduled for April 17-19. The meetings usually bring in more than 10,000 government officials, entrepreneurs, members of the civil society and journalists from the world to the institution's headquarters in Washington downtown. (ANI)