Helping countries address the COVID-19 crisis
The Bank Group is drawing on our financial capacity, global partnerships, and convening power to help countries combat the COVID-19 pandemic and shorten the time to economic and social recovery. The recent capital increases for IBRD and IFC and the IDA19 replenishment are enabling our strong response to the crisis. We are prepared to provide countries with $160 billion in financing over 15 months through June 2021.
For the health response to COVID-19, in fiscal 2020, IBRD and IDA approved a total of 76 operations amounting to $3.8 billion through a dedicated fast-track facility. This includes our global $6 billion Health Strategic Preparedness and Response Program, which was launched in April 2020. We are providing broad and fast support to help countries address their immediate health needs and bolster economic recovery, employing for the first time a global multiphase programmatic approach (MPA), which has shortened preparation times for emergency support to client countries. With country authorities, we also helped redirect $2.5 billion in existing projects in 63 countries, using instruments that allow for operational flexibility in emergency situations, such as projects’ contingent emergency response components. In countries that have active development policy operations with Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Options (CAT-DDOs), rapid access to financing supported the response to the pandemic, including in Colombia, Morocco, and the Independent State of Samoa.
The Bank Group developed a high-level approach to the policy response to the pandemic’s health, economic, and social impacts. The financing needs of developing countries have increased significantly, with tax revenues depressed by low economic activity and higher expenditures to protect the poor and vulnerable, support those who lost jobs, and sustain government services, such as education.