Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out

Factsheet February 11, 2020

How the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus)

As countries around the world work to contain the spread and impact of COVID-19, the World Bank Group is moving quickly to provide fast, flexible responses to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response and health care systems.

The World Bank Group is deploying up to $160 billion in long-term financial support over the next 15 months – with an emphasis on policy-based financing and protecting the poorest households. 

This includes a $14 billion fast-track package to respond to immediate COVID-19 health and economic needs.  

We are also helping countries access critically needed medical supplies by reaching out to suppliers on behalf of governments.

The World Bank’s immediate, emergency operational response for health is meant for one purpose – saving lives. It focuses on:

  • Preventing and limiting local transmission, through laboratory equipment, improved surveillance systems, and training of front-line responders.
  • Goods and services such as gloves, masks, and portable ventilators.
  • Building or expanding clinical care facilities, such as refurbishing intensive care units or inpatient facilities in hospitals and preparing quarantine facilities.
  • Building systems for real-time community-based disease surveillance and through proactive, evidence-based citizen engagement.
  • Strengthening collaboration for research and response to facilitate the development of vaccines, therapeutics, and other measures.

Countries are accessing support through a dedicated, fast-track facility. In addition, the World Bank is working worldwide to redeploy existing resources in World Bank financed projects, including through restructuring, use of emergency components of existing projects (CERCs) and triggering of Catastrophe Deferred Drawdowns (CAT DDOs).

A critical component of the emergency response to this crisis is engagement with the private sector, so the International Finance Corporation is playing a key role supporting companies to continue operating and to sustain jobs

  • $2 billion from the Real Sector Crisis Response Facility, which will support existing clients in the infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and services industries vulnerable to the pandemic. IFC will offer loans to companies in need, and if necessary, make equity investments. This instrument will also help companies in the healthcare sector that are seeing an increase in demand.
  • $2 billion from the existing Global Trade Finance Program, which will cover the payment risks of financial institutions so they can provide trade financing to companies that import and export goods. IFC expects this will support small and medium-sized enterprises involved in global supply chains.
  • $2 billion from the Working Capital Solutions program, which will provide funding to emerging-market banks to extend credit to help businesses shore up their working capital, the pool of funds that firms use to pay their bills and compensate workers.
  • $2 billion from the Global Trade Liquidity Program, and the Critical Commodities Finance Program, both of which offer risk-sharing support to local banks so they can continue to finance companies in emerging markets. This new component was initiated at the request of clients and approved on March 17.

This factsheet was last updated on April 2, 2020.