WASHINGTON D.C., April 2, 2020 – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a US$ 20 million loan for managing the COVID-19 pandemic in Ecuador. This operation will support the national plan to respond to this health emergency through a project focusing on prevention and adequate medical care, strengthening the national public health system.
These resources originate from the World Bank’s package of immediate support , technical assistance and policy advice to help cope with the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The loan will finance the procurement of medical supplies needed to treat COVID-19 cases and the equipping of a larger number of intensive care and isolation units. Additionally, the funds will contribute to financing the national communication strategy and the dissemination of prevention and protection messages for the short and medium term. In this way, the World Bank will support a sustained effort to ensure that individuals adopt behavior that mitigates virus transmission, especially among the most vulnerable populations.
“We are mobilizing all available global instruments to enable a rapid response to this emergency. Ecuador is one of the first countries to access these resources, which will help shore up the national health response. The health and wellbeing of the population are our first priority,” said Ecuador’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Richard Martínez.
This operation is the result of a multilateral effort led by the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Economy and Finance, with technical assistance from the Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization (PAHO-WHO), in an effort to more effectively and efficiently minimize the impact of the pandemic in Ecuador.
“This project is a demonstration of the World Bank Group’s commitment to supporting Ecuador in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have fast-tracked processes to ensure that the country can quickly use resources and adequately respond to the health emergency. Additionally, we have made a team of specialists available to provide technical assistance and coordinate with the different public agencies to strengthen the response of Ecuador’s public health system,” said the World Bank Director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, Marianne Fay.
Ecuador is one of the first 25 countries in the world, and the fourth in the region, to access the resources that the World Bank allocated two weeks ago to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. The World Bank Board of Directors approved similar operations for Argentina, Paraguay and Haiti today.
The project financing is a variable rate, fixed-spread loan with a 28-year maturity period, including an 11-year grace period.
World Bank Group COVID-19 Response
The World Bank Group is rolling out a $14 billion fast-track package to strengthen the COVID-19 response in developing countries and shorten the time to recovery. The immediate response includes financing, policy advice and technical assistance to help countries cope with the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. The IFC is providing $8 billion in financing to help private companies affected by the pandemic and preserve jobs. IBRD and IDA are making an initial US$6 billion available for the health-response. As countries need broader support, the World Bank Group will deploy up to $160 billion over 15 months to protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery.
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