WASHINGTON, June 26, 2020 – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved an International Development Association (IDA)* additional financing of $50 million to help Benin mitigate the impact of the coronavirus health crisis in the socio-economic recovery phase.
This development policy support will underpin reforms undertaken to strengthen fiscal and debt management, improve the financial sustainability of the energy sector and foster the development of the digital economy. It reinforces an initial operation approved on December 12, 2019 to promote faster and sustainable growth. In particular, the reforms will help increase the performance and competitiveness of the energy sector, promote renewable energy sources and support the development of digital infrastructure and affordable broadband access.
"The spread of the coronavirus has led to a decline in economic activities, the country's economic growth but also the State's revenues while it has to meet pressing needs," said Atou Seck, World Bank Country Manager for Benin. "This support will help bridge the gap in budgetary resources to meet basic social and productive sector needs.’’
This funding brings the total amount allocated by the World Bank to Benin to address the coronavirus health crisis to about $90 million.
The World Bank Group, one of the main sources of financing and knowledge for developing economies, is taking swift and far-reaching action to help these countries strengthen their response to the pandemic. We are committed to supporting public health interventions and ensuring the flow of essential medical supplies, while supporting the private sector to enable businesses to continue operations and maintain jobs. We plan to deploy up to $160 billion in financing over the next 15 months to help more than 100 countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses and promote economic recovery. This includes $50 billion in new grants and highly concessional credits from IDA.
*The International Development Association (IDA) is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. Established in 1960, it provides grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. IDA resources help effect positive change in the lives of the 1.6 billion people living in the countries that are eligible for its assistance. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments are constantly on the rise and have averaged $21 billion over the past three years, with about 61% going to Africa.