The Executive Boards of the World Bank and the Board of Directors of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) approved today an increase that brings the accelerated disbursement financing package to USD 14 billion to help companies and countries in their efforts to prevent , detect and attack the rapid spread of COVID-19. This package will strengthen national public health preparedness systems, particularly with regard to containment, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
World Bank Group member IFC will increase its COVID-19 related funding from $ 6 billion to $ 8 billion, as part of the total $ 14 billion package, to help private companies and employees affected by the slowdown economic that generated the expansion of the disease.
Most of IFC’s financing will go to client financial institutions so that they can continue to offer trade finance, working capital support, and medium-term loans to companies experiencing disruptions in their supply chains. IFC’s response will also help current clients in economic sectors directly affected by the pandemic – such as tourism and manufacturing – to continue to cover their costs. The package will also benefit sectors participating in the pandemic response, such as the health care sector and related segments, which face increased demand for services, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.
“It is essential to shorten the time until recovery. This package constitutes a form of urgent support to companies and their workers to reduce the financial and economic impact of the spread of COVID-19, ”said David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group. “The World Bank Group is committed to providing a rapid and flexible response based on the needs of developing countries. Support operations are already underway, and the expanded financing tools approved today will help sustain economies, businesses, and jobs. ”
The additional $ 2 billion reinforces the initial response package announced on March 3, which consisted of $ 6 billion in World Bank financing and $ 6 billion from IFC to offer assistance to micro, small and medium enterprises, which are most vulnerable to shocks. economic.
“This pandemic is not only taking lives; its impact on economies and living conditions is likely to extend beyond the stage of the health emergency. We strive to ensure the continuity of our clients’ operations during this time so that the private sector in the developing world is better equipped and can help economies recover faster, ”said Philippe Le Houérou, IFC CEO. “In turn, this will help vulnerable groups regain their livelihoods more quickly and continue to invest in the future.”
Rapidly mobilized during the 2008 global financial crisis and the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa, IFC has a positive track record of implementing response initiatives to address global and regional crises that hinder activity in the sector private and economic growth in developing countries.