The World Bank has approved yet another USD 1 billion assistance to help India in its efforts to provide social assistance to poor amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a statement issued by the WB authorities on Friday. Earlier, the WB announced USD 1 billion support last month to India’s health sector, thus taking the total financial aid from WB to USD 2 billion towards Covid-19 response In India.
Explaining about the financial aid, WB director for India, Junaid ahmed said the assistance of the financial institution to India will be in three key areas, health social protection and the Micro, Smnall & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) .
India should provide social protection to migrants, unorganised workers, ensure their portability by integrating the system with the existing infrastructure of public distribution system, Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and mobile, Ahmad said.
He said that Covid-19 pandemic has made many countries opt for lockdowns and strictly implement social distancing protocol in a strict manner to check the spread of the coronavirus, which can prove fatal.
The lockdown formula has hit economies and jobs of various countries in the world and India too is no exception to this, he pointed out.
Of the USD 1 billion commitment, USD 550 million will be financed by a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm and USD 200 million will be a loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), with a final maturity of 18.5 years including a grace period of five years.
The remaining USD 250 million will be made available after June 30, 2020.