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.

Over the next 15 months, the World Bank Group will be providing up to $160 billion in financing tailored to the health, economic and social shocks countries are facing, including over $50 billion of IDA resources on grant and highly concessional terms.

In addition to ongoing health support, operations will emphasize social protection to get cash into people’s hands, poverty alleviation, and policy-based financing.

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

The WBG has launched its first set of emergency support operations to help save lives, detect, prevent, and respond to coronavirus in developing countries. Projects focus 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).

Because the private sector is critical to containing the crisis and supporting the economic recovery, our private sector arm – International Finance Corporation – is working to cushion the economic impact through financing that will help companies continue to operate and preserve jobs.

IFC is deploying $8-billion in fast-track financing, with close to 300 companies requesting support. This funding is important to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, which are especially vulnerable to global shocks. The IFC response will:

  • go to client banking institutions, so they can continue to offer trade financing, working-capital support and medium-term financing to private companies impacted by the pandemic.
  • help existing clients in economic sectors directly affected by the pandemic--such as tourism and manufacturing—to continue to pay their bills and employees.

MIGA has launched a $6.5 billion facility to support private sector investors and lenders in tackling the pandemic. The facility redirects MIGA’s capacity toward the purchase of urgent medical equipment, providing working capital for small and medium enterprises, and supporting governments’ short-term funding needs.

This factsheet was last updated on June 8, 2020.