New Delhi: The World Bank has approved $1 billion fund to help India to fight the covid-19 outbreak and strengthen its public health preparedness.
This is the largest ever health sector support from the multilateral lending institution to India.
It is the bulk of the first package of $1.9 billion fast-track aid that was approved by the Board of Executive Directors under a fast-track programme, the bank said.
This new support will cover all States and Union Territories across India and address the needs of infected people, at-risk populations, medical and emergency personnel and service providers, medical and testing facilities, and national and health agencies, a press statement said.
Procurement of testing kits; setting up of new isolation wards — including turning hospital beds into intensive care units; infection prevention and control; and purchase of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and medicines, particularly in district hospitals and designated infectious disease hospitals will be scaled up under the project.
The rest of the aid will go to 24 other countries and the bank said that new operations are moving forward in over 40 countries.
Overall the bank said that it “expects to deploy up to $160 billion over the next 15 months to help countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery.”