World Bank welcomes US, French COVID-19 assistance to India

Lalit K Jha
·2-min read

Washington, Apr 29 (PTI) The World Bank has welcomed the recent announcements by the United States and France to help India address its COVID-19 crisis.

'Very glad to see recent announcements by the US and France to help India address COVID19,' World Bank President David Malpass said in a tweet on Wednesday.

In a speech on April 15, Malpass had underlined the need for countries with the prospect of excess vaccine supplies to release them as soon as possible.

'Next, more doses and transparency on delivery schedules are key,' he said.

The World Bank is financing a fast-track approval process to provide deployment and vaccine payments if supplies become available.

'We urge COVAX donors to encash their commitments and help meet delivery needs,' Malpass said.

So far, the World Bank Group has responded to the crisis by closely supporting Indian strategy of tackling the pandemic in three phases, he said.

In the first phase, the bank partnered with the government to support India’s immediate health needs. The second phase saw a program to help the poor and vulnerable communities deeply affected by the pandemic.

And the third phase was about economic stabilisation and it included a bank-supported project for medium small and micro enterprises (MSMEs), Malpass added.

By the end of June 2020, the World Bank had approved USD2.75 billion in emergency lending to support India’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The World Bank will provide USD250m in financing to help India build a social protection system that can respond to disasters and expand the ability of its safety nets to cater to diverse needs across states and vulnerable groups.

It is also preparing a project that will help raise and accelerate MSME productivity by strengthening institutions and markets.

Job creation is also a special focus under its infrastructure projects, the bank said. PTI LKJ IJT