The World Bank has approved USD 1 billion aid to support India’s efforts for providing social assistance to poor, vulnerable households amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to a statement by the international financial institution issued on Friday. With this, the total commitment from the World Bank towards emergency COVID-19 response in India has now reached to USD 2 billion. Earlier, a USD 1 billion support was announced last month to support India’s health sector. Follow coronavirus outbreak LIVE updates
Elaborating on financial support, World Bank Director for India, Junaid Ahmad, said that the institution will partner with the Indian government in three key areas. “The Word Bank will partner with the Govt of India in three areas – health, social protection and the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME),” said Ahmad in a webinar interaction with media.
“India’s social protection is pivoted towards migrants, unorganised workers, portability and creating an integration of the system. It piggybacks on an existing infrastructure of the Public distribution system, Jan Dhan, Aadhar & mobile,” said Ahmad.
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.
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Of the USD 1 billion commitment, USD 550 million will be financed by a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm and USD 200 million will be a loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), with a final maturity of 18.5 years including a grace period of five years.
The remaining USD 250 million will be made available after June 30, 2020.
(With PTI inputs)
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