World Bank pledges $150bn to mitigate global meltdown

March 25, 2020
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The World Bank Group will deploy $150 billion over the next 15 months to stimulate economic recovery in countries affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The fund is expected to shorten the economic recession timeline in countries affected by the Coronavirus-induced disruption of the global supply chains, slump in global crude oil prices, turmoil in global stock and financial markets, lockdown of large swaths movements of persons, among others.

President, World Bank Group, Malpass in his remarks from the G20 Finance Ministers conference call on the COVID-19 pandemic, said the difficulties of these times are mostly to be felt by the poor and vulnerable.

Malpass said the World Bank Group aims to provide prompt support during these crises, to alleviate the severe consequences on households’ livelihoods and business activities, and the said support would be based on the country’s need.

To shorten the recovery period from the pandemic, the World Bank is currently restructuring existing projects in 23 countries, while also preparing projects in 49 countries through a new fast-track facility adding that the final decisions on 16 out of these 49 country programmes would be made this week.

He warned that a major global recession had begun, and countries should prepare to act accordingly.

“Beyond the severe health impact from the pandemic, we should expect a major recession of the global economy. We are working to provide a fast response, utilizing all our available instruments.

“Countries need to move fast to boost health spending, strengthen social safety nets, support the private sector and counter financial-market disruption. Countries will need to implement structural reforms to help shorten the time to recovery and create confidence that the recovery can be strong,” he said.

He added, “For those countries that have excessive regulations, subsidies, licensing regimes, trade protection or litigiousness as obstacles, we will work with them to foster markets, choice and faster growth prospects during the recovery.

“The resources to address the problems I’ve discussed are substantial. The World Bank Group, including International Finance Corporation and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, could deploy as much as $150bn over the next 15 months.”

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