Last month, the World Bank speculated that roughly 49 million people would be pushed into extreme poverty, with the worldwide financial institution defining "extreme poverty" as "living on less than $1.90 per day".
But Malpass stressed that the World Bank's efforts alone were insufficient, and urged donor nations to step up bilateral aid to poorer countries to ensure a durable recovery. "To return to growth, our goal must be rapid, flexible responses to tackle the health emergency, provide cash and other expandable support to protect the poor, maintain the private sector, and strengthen economic resilience and recovery", he added.
Five Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are among 100 developing countries that will benefit from a World Bank Group emergency operations to fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
"Our estimate is that up to 60 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty - that erases all the progress made in poverty alleviation in the past three years", Mr Malpass warned on Tuesday.
The World Bank Group's support through grants, loans and equity investments will be supplemented by the suspension of bilateral debt service, as endorsed by its directors.
The scale and speed of the Bank Group's response is critical in helping countries mitigate the adverse impacts of this crisis and prioritize the human capital investments that can accelerate recovery.
World Bank extends support to 100 countries
Of the 100 countries, 39 are in Sub-Saharan Africa, with almost one-third of the total projects located in fragile and conflict-affected situations, such as Afghanistan, Chad, Haiti, and Niger.
In conclusion, the WB Group has called on the International Development Association (IDA) countries to act quickly on the advantages of the programs designed and to have full transparency on their debt and investment activities by their respective governments.
The health response programmes address emergency containment and mitigation needs for COVID-19, including strengthening countries' health systems to treat severe cases and save lives. It said that disbursements already underway include a 20-million-U.S. -dollar IDA grant for Haiti, 20 million US dollars to Senegal and 35 million USA dollars to Ghana.
Again, the bank is also leveraging countries' existing social protection systems to help families and businesses restore income, preserve livelihoods, and compensate for increasing prices and unexpected medical expenses.
In allocating this much of budget to the programs and to maintain private investment in these countries, the WB states that "There are the billions of dollars that were fast-tracked by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the members of the World Bank, to help maintain the private sector". This global body has announced a grant of $ 160 billion to 100 developing countries as part of the campaign to overcome this global crisis. On April 23, the World Bank approved $100 million for the Philippines to procure materials including PPE, essential medicines, test kits, and key equipment such as mechanical ventilators, cardiac monitors, and portable x-ray machines.
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