India’s government has been granted a $1 billion loan from the world bank to support the country in its fight against coronavirus. The loan was approved by the Board of Executive Directors of World bank on Thursday.
“The covid-19 pandemic has also put a spotlight on some of the gaps in the existing social protection systems. This program will support the government of India’s effort towards a more consolidated delivery platform accessible to both rural and urban populations across state boundaries”, Junaid Ahmad, world bank’s India director said.
The loan is helping to speed up the ‘Accelerating India’s covid-19 social protection response program’, which will help the country to give assistance to the vulnerable and poor. The world bank has already given $1 billion to India last month to support its health sector.
The Director also said “The world bank will partner with the government of India in three areas- health, social protection and the micro, small & medium enterprises”, also adding that because of the coronavirus, governments around the world have had to introduce lockdowns and social distancing in unprecedented ways.
Out of the USD 1 billion commitment, USD 200 million will be a loan from the international bank for reconstruction and development with a final maturity of 18.5 years, USD 550 million will be financed by a credit from the International Development Association and the remaining USD 250 million will be available after June 30, 2020.
In total, the commitment from the world bank towards India’s emergency Covid-19 response is $2 billion. Countries worldwide have had to practice social distancing and impose restrictions and these have affected jobs in the informal sector and economies.