BUCHAREST, April 2, 2020 - The Government of Romania activated Euro 400 million of pre-arranged financial support from the World Bank to help prevent and respond to the COVID–19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The financing covers a range of interventions to strengthen health services, minimize the losses to both the public and private sectors, and to safeguard lives and livelihoods overall.
“The World Bank is ready to support Romania in confronting the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on people by providing fast disbursing financial support as well as through our long-term engagement,” said Tatiana Proskuryakova, World Bank Country Manager for Romania and Hungary. “While the situation is still developing, we will continue support Romania to overcome this crisis.”
Romania was able to benefit from a pre-arranged loan which has a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (CAT-DDO) facility that the Government negotiated with the World Bank in June 2018. The objective of this program is to strengthen Romania's institutional and legal framework to effectively manage the physical, social and fiscal impacts of health emergencies, natural disasters and climate change. As well as supporting the government with critical policy reforms to build resilience, this facility enables the government to access financing within 48 hours in response to a natural disaster or health emergency.
In parallel, the World Bank Romania Country Office is working to restructure the existing portfolio, especially in the health sector, to use part of its undisbursed balance to finance crisis-related equipment purchases, as well as in crisis-affected areas beyond the health sector. This includes providing advice on the likely economic impacts of the developing crisis.
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.