Skip to Main Navigation
BRIEF July 14, 2022

Achieving Results in South Asia

Image

Curt Carnemark/World Bank


The South Asia Region is at a pivotal stage of development. In recent decades, rapid economic growth, and progress across several sectors— including education, infrastructure, health, and agriculture—helped reduce poverty and improve the lives, well-being and opportunities for millions of South Asians. The World Bank has been a long-term partner for the countries of South Asia—in times of prosperity and in times of crisis.

  • Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the World Bank support for South Asia has reached $31 billion.
  • The initial focus has been on the health emergency response and protecting the most vulnerable. Going forward, our priority is to pave the way for a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery.
  • Nearly $12 billion of the overall $31 billion in World Bank support has been directly channeled for COVID-19 response, helping to save lives, protect the poor and vulnerable, support business growth and job creation, and strengthen policies and institutions.

Accelerating Human Capital to Drive Inclusive Development

  • More than 857 million vulnerable people across South Asia directly benefited from $2.73 billion of funding that supported social safety nets. These funds provided social assistance to the poorest families, helped them buy critical medical supplies and food.
  • $2.5 billion provided by the World Bank for 15 health projects across South Asia helped establish or equip more than 23,000 hospitals and healthcare centers to provide better care for COVID-19 patients.
  • Across South Asia, World Bank provided $3.80 billion for 22 education projects, including support to respond to school disruptions caused by COVID-19, enhance digitization, expanding access for remote learning, and provide needs-based training that is benefitting millions of students and teachers.
  • The World Bank has made available more than $1 billion to support vaccine purchase and deployment in six South Asian countries. More than 127 million doses have been purchased and 112 million doses delivered, with nearly 100 million of those already administered.

"The World Bank has been a long-term partner for the countries of South Asia—in times of prosperity and in times of crisis."

Image

Manoej Paateel/Shutterstock.com


Promoting Green Growth

  • While providing emergency support to South Asia's COVID-19 crisis response, the World Bank has also remained focused on longer-term priorities such as climate change, delivering over $7.8 billion of climate finance in the region since March 2020, 52 percent of which is supporting adaptation actions.
  • Climate-induced and other disasters further exacerbate the impacts of COVID-19. The World Bank’s active portfolio of 19 operations of about $4 billion is helping build resilience networks. Since 2013, this support has contributed to construction and rehabilitation of over 3,300 shelters, 4,700 km of roads, and 600 km of embankments, benefiting millions of people.
  • More than $75 million was made available for South Asian governments for disaster risk management, public health, and the economic impacts of COVID-19 as emergency resources provided through Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Options (Cat DDOs).

Image

Jahangir Alam Onuchcha/Shutterstock.com


Boosting Resilience Across the Economy, Markets, & Society

  • More than 9 million micro, small, and medium enterprises across South Asia benefited from over $800 million in World Bank support. It includes financing, guarantees, and capacity building to help address COVID-19 impacts and establish a stronger system for micro, small, and medium enterprises financing and development in the region.
  • At least 1.8 million smallholders and farmers across South Asia will benefit from $1.2 billion through 10 World Bank operations to improve productivity for food security, strengthen market connectivity, and help develop resilience against climate change.