The World Bank Group has increased its financing to $74 billion for supporting countries to fight the Covid-19 pandemic in the fiscal year 2020.
The group is also refocusing its programmes on four priorities: saving lives threatened by the pandemic; protecting the poor and vulnerable; securing the foundations of the economy to shorten the time to recovery; and strengthening policies and institutions for resilience based on transparent and sustainable debt and investments.
In a press release, David Malpass, president of World Bank Group, said, "As developing countries face an unprecedented health, social and economic crisis that is jeopardizing decades of development progress, we have been working intensely on fast, broad actions to limit the harm and help countries prepare for recovery so they can rebuild better and stronger than before."
"We've been focused on helping countries overcome the pandemic with programs that reinforce healthcare systems, protect the poorest households, maintain the foundations of the economy, fight inequality and ensure a resilient and sustainable recovery," he added.
Over the fiscal year, which ended on June 30, the World Bank worked to further realign its delivery model for efficient coordination of work across its regions and global practices.
In addition, in FY20 the World Bank Group worked with the IMF to call on official bilateral creditors to grant debt relief to the world's poorest countries: those eligible for International Development Association (IDA) financing.
Support to middle-income countries from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) rose to $28.5 billion in FY20, up from $23.2 billion in the previous fiscal year. Loans and grants to the world's poorest countries from the International Development Association (IDA) were $30.4 billion during FY20. The 19th replenishment of IDA, in December 2019, secured an $82 billion financing package for the 74 poorest countries in the world to be deployed over a three-year period.
A significant share of World Bank (IBRD and IDA) financing in FY20 was dedicated to help countries fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Within this financing, between March and the end of June, the World Bank approved $6.3 billion for emergency health support in 108 countries, including 33 fragile and conflict-affected countries and 22 small states.
Health projects totaling $3.8 billion used an innovative, fast track Global Covid-19 Health Multiphase Programmatic Approach are helping to finance health equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), and training. An additional $2.5 billion was redirected to fight COVID-19 from the portfolio of operations under implementation.
In FY20, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), whose mandate is to help drive impactful foreign direct investment to developing countries, issued nearly $4 billion in new guarantees, helping mobilize $7.33 billion in total financing. Nearly 42 percent of MIGA's guarantee program over the fiscal year supported projects in IDA countries and fragile settings, and over 20 percent contributed to climate change adaptation or mitigation, including multiple low-carbon energy projects in Africa.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, MIGA launched a $6.5 billion fast track facility to help investors and lenders tackle the crisis. To date, MIGA has provided $2.1 billion for projects to mitigate the impact of the crisis in emerging markets and developing economies.
The World Bank Group will continue to focus on providing support to countries to address the health and economic impacts of the pandemic, while maintaining a line of sight on their long-term development vision.
In March 2020, the Group announced that it can provide up to $160 billion over a 15 months period ending June 2021.