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Statement May 14, 2020

World Bank Statement on COVID Support to Zimbabwe

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis that impacts every country, and we are working to support as many countries as possible in our response.

Zimbabwe, along with a handful of other countries, is currently in arrears to the World Bank Group, and as such is not eligible for traditional financing through the International Development Association. There is no direct IDA or IBRD financing to the government. Support to countries like Zimbabwe that are not current on their debt service can only be provided through trust funds, with allocations managed and programs implemented primarily through our technical assistance programs and local or international partners on the ground.

The World Bank Group’s shareholders have underlined the need for Zimbabwe and other countries in arrears to receive support as part of the global effort to help countries respond to urgent health needs due to COVID-19, while ensuring that these funds reach the communities that are most at risk from the impacts of the pandemic.

The Global Financing Facility, a multi-donor trust fund housed at the World Bank, is planning to allocate $5 million for COVID-19 response in Zimbabwe (pending project approval), to be implemented through Cordaid, the Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid, rather than the Government of Zimbabwe. In addition, an estimated $2 million from the ongoing Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project will be redirected toward the COVID-19 response in the affected communities, implemented through UNOPS, the United Nations Office for Projects and Service. Any additional trust fund support will be announced in due course.

The World Bank is working with implementing partners that have a strong track record of accountability and transparency and whose practices meet the high standards expected by beneficiaries.


David Theis